Book details

Publication date: April 2019
Series: Wayfarer
Keywords: Natural disasters; community; memoir; wildfire; fire; Fort McMurray; evacuation; resilience; family; recovery
Subject(s): BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Fire & Emergency Services, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Travel Literature, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Literary Nonfiction, Area Studies, Area Studies / Alberta, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Auto/biography & Memoir, Natural Disasters / Community / Memoir, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs, NATURE / Natural Disasters, Natural disasters; community; memoir; wildfire; fire; Fort McMurray; evacuation; resilience; family; recovery, Natural disasters, Memoirs, Biography: general, Biography, Alberta History, Bestseller, Travel
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Therese Greenwood. Therese Greenwood has worked as a writer, reporter, editor, broadcaster, and communications executive. Her short fiction has appeared across North America. She lives in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

# 1 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, April 3, 2019

"One of the greatest treasures in life may be to understand both where we have come from and who we have come to be. It seems that Therese’s reflections gave her some of those insights. Perhaps reading and reflecting with her might do the same for us."

Bob Trube, Bob on Books

" evacuation orders were imposed and as the highway out of town swelled with traffic... [Greenwood] gathered an assortment of objects, from deeply meaningful mementos to items that initially appeared more random... Each of the objects she has retained is carefully considered and contextualized over a number of chapters that fuse past and present, family memories and local histories.... In this surprisingly gripping and deeply moving account, Greenwood considers how we re-establish normalcy in the wake of profound loss." [Full review at]

Heidi Tiedemann Darroch, Canadian Literature

"Greenwood's book, What You Take With You, is an amalgamation of life lessons on the resilience needed to recover emotionally and mentally following the May 2016 [wildfire] disaster.... The book analyzes what Greenwood took from her home as authorities began ordering the evacuation of Fort McMurray. She had only 15 minutes to grab what she needed.... Greenwood said each object she took in the frenzy of evacuation had a subconscious and special meaning for her.... Each chapter of her book explains the life lesson tied to these objects and how Greenwood applied those lessons to the aftermath of the fire." [Full article at]

Sarah Williscraft, Fort McMurray Today

"My eyes filled with tears more than once while reading this book. So terrifying and so tender, it looks clearly and deeply into how we can survive loss and how our treasured objects can be the priceless vessels that carry the stories of both our past and our future."

Diane Schoemperlen, author of This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications

"Therese Greenwood’s gripping account of the Fort McMurray wildfire evacuation, the largest and most devastating in Canadian history, is told in the deceptively relaxed manner that often masks true tragedy. You'll read this book with a mounting sense of panic. You'll look around your own house, imagining flames licking at your doors. You have two minutes: what would you save?"

Wayne Grady, author of Up From Freedom

"In What You Take With You, Therese Greenwood tells a very personal story of the Fort McMurray Wildfire. By considering the things that she lost in the blaze and the things that were saved, Greenwood takes the reader with her through her own evacuation, the road to safety, the grief that she experienced on losing her home, and the steps to her recovery. It is a beautiful book, sharply observed in the accounting of a disaster that affected the nation, gripping in the particulars of her own journey, and expansive in the questions it poses for us all: How is memory tied to the things we've collected, and what does it mean to make a home?"

Miranda Hill, author of Sleeping Funny

Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year | Alberta Book Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta, Canada

1 Before
2 The Go Bag
3 The Rolling Pin
4 The Plaster Saint
5 The Sleigh Bells
6 The Beating Heart
7 The Bible and the Bee Book
8 The Cat Photo
9 The Breda Needlepoint
10 The Flattop and The Dobro
11 The Wedding Mirror
12 The Quilt
13 The Award
14 After


ISBNs: 9781772124491 978-1-77212-449-1 Title: what you take with you ISBNs: 9781772124699 978-1-77212-469-9 Title: what you take with you ISBNs: 9781772124705 978-1-77212-470-5 Title: what you take with you ISBNs: 9781772124712 978-1-77212-471-2 Title: what you take with you