Featured Interview With Jennifer Fraser
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised on the west coast of Canada doing all manner of sailing, hiking, and marching around in bare feet. While I spent fourteen years in Toronto to complete my MA, PhD, and then lecture, I returned with my family to the west coast of Canada, landing surprisingly on an island. I live in Victoria, British Columbia with my husband, my 21 year old son, a high-maintenance black standard poodle, and our other son works on camera in Vancouver’s film industry.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis that surfaced when I was ten. I was restricted from playing sports, had swollen wrists and hands, along with an almost immovable, swollen right knee. My mother’s response to this was to hand me things like Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights if I felt sorry for myself or at a loss because I wasn’t allowed to actively play. This is where my passion for story began. I started writing with serious intent while I was working on my dissertation.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have too many favorites to list. I have too many genres to choose. I love stories. I appear to have never grown up and find myself falling into someone’s written word with complete abandon. I live their story so that I laugh out loud if its David Sedaris; I feel a sense of the divine if it’s Gerard Manly Hopkins or the Metaphysical poets; I gnash my teeth at the cruelty and manipulation and relatability of a Shakespeare play; I cry when it’s a tale of injustice and suffering like Uwem Akpan’s “Say You’re One of Them.” I am inspired by story-tellers. I respond to their commitment to use language as a way to provoke critical thinking, challenge mental laziness, open up hearts, fire up ethics, instil courage, reveal spirit, describe our remarkable universe, tell the truth through every genre from fiction to memoir.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health is a deeply personal journey from ignorance about brains to insight about the command-centre of our lives. I was thrown into two abuse crises at two private schools and came to realize that the prevailing way of handling adult abuse is to cover it up. Not one to comply or obey directives that I find corrupt, I chose the path of research. I discovered that on brain scans it is clear that all forms of bullying and abuse harm brains. It is shocking and serious. Then I learned that our brains are incredibly adept at repair. In my latest book, I share the advancements in neuroscience so that those who have been bullied or abused can learn evidence-based practices to recover and increase their health and happiness.
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