Ruth Simkin

What Makes You Happypreviousnext Ekstasis Editions

What Makes You Happy is a diverse collection of tales – some drawn from life, others pure fiction – told by the inimitable Ruth Simkin. Short stories of engaging originality mingle with reports of travel to far kingdoms or hell and back, along with humourously poignant accounts from the author's career as a physician. Feminist, humanist and Jewish themes inform the collection, but it is the childlike voice of wonder at a world both tragic and magical that touches the reader. Laugh-out-loud funny in some places and raw or tender in others, What Makes You Happy deals with the large and small dramas of human existence. Whether remembering the confusion of a chastised child, recording backyard conversations with animals, chronicling declining physical ability or coming to terms with God, death and cruelty, Ruth Simkin’s abiding concern for justice and her infectious delight in the possible is evident in each page of this absorbing collection.

Ruth Simkin is someone who loves and lives extravagantly, from the deepest part of her being.These stories are windows into small and large moments of a unique life, fully lived…Stories including “The Face of God” and “The Finger Man” investigate collisions of faith, understanding, community and individuality in a soulful and life-affirming way…What Makes You Happy offers important insights into the challenges faced by people living with disabilities, with inspiring affirmation of the possibilities for enduring freedom in the realm of spirit and imagination…
~ Caffyn Jesse, from the Foreword

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dr. Ruth Simkin practiced family medicine for several decades and subsequently became a specialist in palliative care. She has studied in Canada, the US, Israel, China, England and Russia. She is the author of medical articles on women’s health as well as Like an Orange on a Seder Plate, a feminist Passover Haggadah. She is the author of The Jagged Years of Ruthie J., a memoir of her struggle to overcome misunderstood epilepsy and eventually become a doctor. Retired from medicine, she now lives and writes in Victoria, BC where she shares a home with her animal companion Kelly


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ISBN 978-1-77171-127-2
138 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Now available

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