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Nancy Graham was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, where she spent the first twenty-four years of her life. Her initial foray into writing about mental illness was in 1982, when she wrote a university research paper on electroconvulsive therapy. It fueled a desire to pursue her studies into depressive disorders and their impact upon family dynamics.
In the early spring of 1994, a particularly stubborn cycle of her own depression precipitated a self-imposed sabbatical from the workforce. The decision to write a book about her family's experiences with her mother’s 20-year battle with clinical depression was ultimately paramount to her healing process. It also provided a means of processing the years of silence about her mother's illness that had so long shrouded her family. Furthermore, Nancy hopes that this book will offer some validation for others who have been affected by mental illness, and specifically clinical depression; that they may find her book waiting on a bookstore or library shelf, and know it was written for them.
Over the years, the written word and public service have figured prominently in her life, creating a seamlessness between the personal and the professional. Prior to moving to Toronto in 1988, she was employed at the Humanities Library and the Medical Bookstore on the campus of McMaster University. She has since held positions in both the non-profit and community services sectors. She has worked with groups in the field of mental health and addictions. She has volunteered for the Canadian Mental Health Association Library and appeared in a video produced for the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, addressing the theme of Co-morbid Depression and Substance Abuse, geared toward health care professionals and effective diagnosis and treatment of dual diagnoses. For the past three years, her volunteer commitment has been focused on the work of the Jean Tweed Centre, a forerunner in the field of substance abuse treatment programs for women and their families in Ontario. She was the editor of the Centre’s newsletter, and is frequently asked to speak at public engagements on behalf of former clients, which she did most recently at the Arts and Letters Club. Nancy is currently employed by the Toronto Public Library, which subsidizes her continued writing endeavours.
Much of Nancy’s other writing has been in her capacity as a freelance writer and editor for non-profit associations. She has had poetry, book reviews, art critiques and creative non-fiction pieces published in Beneath the Surface, a McMaster University publication, as well as the Toronto-based niche magazines Siren and Lola. Works in progress include quasi-historical fiction and short stories that depict passionate love between women; the biography of one woman’s voyage from her native South Korea and her struggle to make peace with her Korean-Canadian soul.
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