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Stone Cold Tea cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-919018-4
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-919016-0
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 246 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-919017-7
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 246 pages
  • Keywords
    • Bond between sisters,
    • Alzheimer’s,
    • Parent’s decline,
    • Small-town memoir,
    • Generational trauma,
    • Pentecostal childhood,
    • Mother’s dementia

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Stone Cold Tea
by Winn Bray Rathbun

In Stone Cold Tea, a beautifully rendered creative non-fiction memoir, Winn Bray Rathbun takes us from early childhood in small-town Welland, Ontario, where she was the youngest in a working-class family of six, to her growing awareness much later in life that her siblings’ perceptions and recollections of family life were surprisingly different from her own. As young children, Winn and her adored older sister, Jayne, enjoy a carefree existence within the shelter of their loving parents and older brothers, Jim and Paul. When their father dies while Winn and Jayne are still very young, their mother, Cathy, struggles to find financial and emotional equilibrium. As the fissures in Cathy’s fragile mental health deepen, she frequently withdraws to a place only she can go, leaving Rathbun to wonder, “What did we really know about our mother? Where did that thick river of Alzheimer’s take her?” With insight, compassion, and wit, Rathbun attempts to find some answers by weaving an imagined account of her mother’s memories, gleaned from both long conversations over countless pots of tea and Cathy’s own writings, into the narrative of her own life. This is a book that will resonate not only with those who have witnessed a loved one’s descent into Alzheimer’s, but with anyone who ponders their own family’s dynamics, secrets, questions, misunderstandings, and ties that bind.

"… a truly original memoir that shape-shifts between journals, letters, objects, and photos in ways both moving and magical." —Vern Thiessen, Canadian Playwright (Governor General's Award-Einstein's Gift) "What makes Winn’s storytelling so compelling is her innate ability to constantly discover within the narrative a feature - be it an observation, an aside, or a digression - that encapsulates the scene and does so in an utterly delightful manner. She has the eye of a reporter and the style of a poet." —Ron and Lynn duFort, Principals duFort Enterprises "… masterfully crafted with authenticity. Love, loss, innocence, and resilience carry us back to a hardworking Ontario family with sweet recollections and profound realizations, inviting us to consider our own days gone by and the lessons we’ve learned." —Lana Skauge, Author, Storyteller, Playwright

Winn Bray Rathbun photo

Winn Bray Rathbun has been a professional playwright for more than three decades, with fifteen produced plays and musicals to her credit. Her work has largely focused on historical drama, theatre for young audiences, and telling unique Canadian stories. She was the recipient of an Excellence in the Arts Award (Hamilton Wentworth Creative Arts), and her work has been recognized and supported by, among others, the Ontario Arts Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Heritage Park and BMO Financial Group, Quest Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Mount Royal University, Alberta Playwrights' Network, duFort Enterprises, Carousel Players, Theatre South NSW (Australia), the Citadel New Play Development Program, and the private sector. Winn Bray Rathbun currently lives in Calgary, Alberta. Stone Cold Tea is her first published book.


Winn Bray Rathbun
Heather Rathbun-Bishop
Thies Bogner

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