New West author is preserving women's history, one mother's story at a time

New book guides people on the process of telling their own mother's story

A New Westminster author is working to change the way we view history – one mother’s story at a time.

Marilyn Norry is releasing her new book, Writing Women’s History: Starting with your mother, with a special event in Vancouver on Dec. 12.

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A press release notes that Norry, who’s best known as a Jessie Award-winning actor, has also worked for years as a story editor and dramaturg on films and plays. After editing two anthologies, she’s now written this how-to book for people with stories to tell – which means pretty much everyone.

It developed from a series of workshops Norry began with actors more than a decade ago, and it has been variously described as a workbook, a writing exercise, a meditation journal and, more importantly, a challenge to record and safeguard women’s history.

“Women’s history has not been saved. We talk about it, we don’t write it down, and we certainly don’t share it with everyone,” Norry says in a video on her website. “What it means to be human is only determined by the stories that men have written. We have to make up for that now. You can help … by writing the story of your mother’s life.”

Norry says the writing template she uses will help people tell their mother’s story from beginning to end: how to get the facts and how to get out of the way. The intent is to tell your mother’s story – the facts, not your relationship with her or the issues you have.

Along the way, she says, people will discover things about themselves, their family and their history that they may not have known.

“There are people whose mothers had fascinating lives, and there are people who discover that their mothers had fascinating lives,” she says in the video. “Those are the only two options.”

A book launch for Writing Women’s History is set for Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Unity of Vancouver, 5840 Oak St. The book will be available at the launch and at online bookstores including Vancouver’s

This marks the 10th anniversary year for Norry’s non-profit organization, Mothership Stories Society, which has devoted itself to the task of preserving women’s history through the stories of our mothers.

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