Penguin Canada to publish My Heart Is Not My Own
September 26, 2012 (Toronto) – Penguin Canada is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Michael Wuitchik’s compelling novel, My Heart Is Not My Own (previously Three Stone Fire), set to publish in Summer 2013. The book was acquired in a competitive bid by Penguin’s Commissioning Editor Adrienne Kerr and arranged by Drea Cohane of The Rights Factory in Toronto.
Dr. John Rourke is finding it difficult to forget his days as a relief doctor in West Africa. In the 1990s he travelled to Sierra Leone, in the midst of a civil war, to offer medical attention and supplies to the victims of that conflict. He befriended a local nurse named Mariama and a doctor named Momodu, but lost contact when the conflict escalated to conflagration. His last memory of Sierra Leone is of Mariama on the floor of a bombed hospital room, delivering a mutilated mother of a beautiful baby while NGO personnel usher him into the safety of a waiting helicopter.
Now living in Vancouver, happily married to Nadia who is expecting their first child, John is thrust back into the horrors of the past by the arrival of a package from Sierra Leone. Haunted by trauma, John realizes that before he can commit to his future, he’ll have to confront his conscience and the pain of his past.
Kerr says, “My Heart Is Not My Own” is a debut novel that bears witness to extraordinary levels of suffering; that explores what our responsibilities are to each other. It’s a novel about separation and connectedness, and about how respect for tradition can save us from brutality. We are extremely proud to be publishing this beautiful, harrowing novel.”
The author, Michael Wuitchik, is a retired psychologist who visited refugee camps during the war in Sierra Leone and who has returned many times. He lives on the west coast of Canada, near Victoria, British Columbia. He continues to commit his time to community aid projects in his adopted African village Sumbuya, Sierra Leone. He documents his time spent in Sierra Leone, and how it inspired his career in writing on his blog.