Winner of the 2009 Lambda Award for Non-Fiction. In an interview on CBC North by Northwest, Alan Twigg, publisher of BC Bookworld says: "Loving the Difficult is the book that Jane Rule was put on the earth to write."
Internationally acclaimed author of seven novels, prolific short story writer and social commentator, Jane Rule compiled this final book of 38 essays in the months before she died in late 2007. As in her fiction and three previously published essay collections, we find her an absorbing story-teller, a wise observer of character and a fearless spokesperson for lesbian and gay rights.
In some of the essays Rule considers episodes of her own life, from infancy almost to its end, reflecting on her relationships with family members and with her partner of 45 years, Helen Sonthoff. She intersperses thoughtful commentary on political themes that have long engaged her, such as censorship, pornography, misguided tax laws and same-sex marriage, and on literary issues such as the nature of story-telling and the role of the woman writer. From memories of her own childhood and from observing the many children who have inhabited her world, she developed a deep understanding of children; in some of these essays she protests government policies that short-change and threaten children, to the detriment of society as a whole.
There is both laughter and grief in these essays, barely-contained anger at injustice and clear-eyed acceptance of what can't be changed. Above all, the essays are remarkable for their courageous honesty for that generosity of spirit which made her a mentor, role model and beloved friend to thousands.