Compiled & Edited Works





edited by Susan Musgrave

            ·             New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age List

            ·             "Our Choice" List, Canadian Children's Book Centre

  "When I was sixteen years old I had secrets, all right. But my secrets were not exactly my own; they were the secrets of others."

So writes Nan Germaine in Susan Musgrave's most recent collection on the lives of teen girls. Nan remembers the loneliness of enduring her parent's secret confessions: her mother's unhappiness and her father's infidelity. For Anita Rau Badami, a mad aunt was her hidden shame. Meanwhile, a drunken father meant Lorna Crozier could never invite her friends home. And Cathy Stonehouse, who lived her life in fragments, found her secret self threatened in a not-so-innocent game of Truth or Dare.

Heartfelt, disarmingly honest, at times painful, these essays reveal the secret lives of seven teens and eloquently capture the reality of adolescent life. The collection is a testament to the axiom that life isn't always as it appears.

"Collectively, these selections tell young people dealing with any of these issues that they are not alone. Thus, the stories offer reassurance. Taken together, they also lead readers to realize that secrets have tremendous power and enormous emotional costs. Each piece is sensitive, realistic, and well written."

--School Library Journal

"The clarity of voice and benefit of hindsight give these pieces of

creative nonfiction an edge over traditional fictional narratives. Short,

shocking and far too familiar, they give voice to the sadly common tragedies of teen's lives, while promising a future in which the

speakers become strong women and gifted writers. The authors in this Canadian import will be new to US audiences who will hope to see more of them."

--Kirkus Reviews

"... strong collection."

--Toronto Star

"A remarkable collection ... these stories are utterly memorable for their candor, for the quality of the prose and for the sense of catharsis, the release from the burden of secret-keeping, that each author, a secret sharer, communicates to her reader"

--The Globe and Mail

"... the emotions and problems facing each author will be easy for any teenage reader to relate to ... Recommended."

--Resource Links

"Heartfelt, touching, sometimes gritty, these essays captivate the

poignancy and universality of the secret lives of adolescent girls."





edited by Susan Musgrave

Following the critical acclaim for NERVES OUT LOUD and YOU BE ME, here is a third collection of compelling voices that will resonate with teens.
These essays are deeply personal, poignant accounts of the relationship between mothers and daughters during the contributors’ teen years.

Hiromi Goto recalls the conflict that arose upon accepting her mother’s reassurance of love. To right things, Goto declares, “Tomorrow I’ll have to be extra bitchy so she’ll know she’s not my friend.”

Such is the world of teen daughter/ mother relationships. Except when you’re motherless. Priscila Uppal’s essay exudes the pain of wondering how her mother could leave without explanation, without seeming to care.

These essays shine with truthfulness and the brilliance of the writing. They will comfort readers as they struggle to become the women they want to be.
“Searingly honest, searingly good ... these stories are remarkable for
the sense of personal courage they display in writing honestly ... This
collection of stories would be wasted if it were not read by mothers as well as daughters.”
—The Globe and Mail

“... poignant and powerful collection ... well-written and easy for any
teenage girl to relate to. This slim volume is sure to attract even reluctant teen readers, although the moments of sexual and violent intensity recommend the book for high school or public libraries.”

“... disturbing and provocative ... it would lend itself well to reading group discussions, and it could also be used as required reading to
elicit dialogue between mothers and daughters in conflict. In any event, it will make people talk! ... It will be of most interest to teenaged daughters who find themselves in frequent or extended conflict with their mothers.”
—CM Reviews

“... these small gems demonstrate the separate peace that can come to both mothers and daughters. A good choice for book-discussion groups.”
—School Library Journal

“Tenderness, strife and sheer incomprehension find expression ...
Anger and understanding are measured out honestly; this anthology is hopeful, but not pacifying.”
—Toronto Star

“... every page is powerfully conveyed and pulls the strings of every
daughter's heart.”
—Calgary Herald



edited by Susan Musgrave

            ·             New York Public Library's Books For The Teen Age List

            ·             Book of the Year Award finalist, ForeWord Magazine

            ·             "Our Choice" List, Canadian Children's Book Centre


Girls in their teens form friendships that are astonishingly intense, yet these relationships are often broken and reformed, filled with confidences and betrayals, loyalty and fickleness.

In these deeply honest essays, seven women present humorous, poignant, and revealing accounts of their own adolescent friendships. Whether it's the power of cliques, learning that beauty may come with a price, or experiencing the thrill of finding a soulmate, this powerful profile of teen girls reveals the complex and rewarding nature of friendship.

"These stories-in large part by new and emerging writers-do resonate. And to their credit, they are all what might be called 'inside jobs,' felt experience transcribed onto the page in ways that are compelling and immediate (code words, in some cases, for 'in your face'). The only distance between writer and reader seems to be that between the eye and the page."

--The Globe and Mail

"Strong voices, universal themes, and high-quality writing characterize this collection, which will appeal to the older adolescent girl stepping back to reflect on herself and her relationships."


"The well-written pieces capture the joy and the hurt, the fun and the

responsibility, and the memories shared ... This book will resonate with readers and offer insights into the ever-changing nature of [friendship] and the constancy of the need for one. A valuable addition."

--School Library Journal

"The stories introduce the reader to many different backgrounds, diverse cultures, and eclectic characters. This is a good solid collection of short stories about the rites of passage of teenage girls, and the friends they have, or don't have during these years."

--CM Reviews

"... both [NERVES OUT LOUD and YOU BE ME] will be special reads for

teenage girls, and for those parents and friends who seek to understand them."

--Idea Museum

"... this book presents gripping first-person essays that will enlighten

and educate ... A worthwhile read for young and older women."


"... a series of smart, no-nonsense essays about growing up."

--Geist Magazine

"There's no straining for lyricism- just frank reminiscences whose

specificity engenders a quality of universality."

--The Horn Book Guide



Because You Loved
Being a Stranger
55 Poets Celebrate Patrick Lane
edited by Susan Musgrave
Special limited edition! Only 55 copies printed. Numbered and signed by Patrick Lane and Susan Musgrave.

Why have so many writers chosen to dedicate poems to Patrick Lane over the years? This phenomenon fascinated Susan Musgrave long before she got the idea of collecting the best of the poems in a single anthology, which happily came together in conjunction with Lane's 55th birthday.

The contributors are some of Canada's best writers, among them Margaret Atwood, bill bissett, George Bowering, Lorna Crozier, David McFadden, P.K. Page and Al Purdy. Their poems for Lane are set in BC's Okanagan Valley, rural Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Toronto; in the Bessborough Hotel lounge, under the stars, at the snooker table, in the garden. There are poems lyrical, unsettling, funny, erotic; storytelling poems and sensual memories and invitations to dinner. In each poem a friend or fellow writer remembers a moment or a decade or a lifetime with Lane, or presents a poem inspired by Lane's own work.




edited by Susan Musgrave

            ·             Book of the Year Award, ForeWord Magazine

            ·             New York Public Library's Books For The Teen Age List

When something major occurs in a teen's life, somehow things are never the same again. In NERVES OUT LOUD, seven women writers share pivotal moments from their teen years, concentrating on an event or a series of events that changed their lives and turned them in a new direction. By telling their stories passionately and fearlessly, these writers deliver a message to teens that whatever it is they are going through, they are not alone. Told in each woman's unique voice, the stories carry with them a sense of urgency and honesty.

"Honest and straightforward, the stories get to the heart of the matter

in clear and concise prose. The writing is passionate and compelling, pulling

readers into the lives of these strong, yet vulnerable people. The selections deal with hard, real-life issues, but they convey hope and suggest the possibility that there are better tomorrows ... This will be a popular book with teens because of the easy-to-read style and subject matter. Personal narratives of this caliber are always a welcome addition to YA collections."--School Library Journal

"... riveting accounts ... polished collection ... extremely honest,

well-written accounts of youthful angst ... The writing is so fresh, and some pieces ... are leavened with wry bursts of humor... The seven women writing here were all troubled in very distinct ways; what they have in common is the inner strength to survive life's viscissitudes, and the wit and talent to animate them for us."--Quill & Quire

"Told with compelling honesty and realism, each story portrays serious

difficulties faced by many teens, yet most also touch on more common adolescent relationships, such as those with teachers, friends, and boys ... With their honest depiction of subjects holding high interest for teenage girls, these seven stories offer excellent doors into books for reluctant readers. Written with consistently high literary quality, all seven stories deserve attention from those seeking excellence in YA writing."--Kirkus

"... seven established writers write searingly of youthful incidents that have had enduring emotional impact on their identities as writers and women ... The lostness and uncertainty of each of these girls is palpable; the restrained, powerfully articulate stories map the moment of transformation from passivity to agency with candor and openness. These voices will both comfort and inspire teenaged readers--not only in showing that survival is possible, but in celebrating the saving power of language. A must-read for teenaged girls."--Toronto Star

"The selections are varied, but all are gutsy reminiscences of what it

is to be young and female."--Booklist

"... compelling and inspirational ..."--Books for Growing Minds

"A powerful look back by women who made it through."--Publishers Weekly

"... an amazing collection of stories ... that are poignant, straightforward, and brutally honest."--KLIATT

"The sheer energy and spark of the writing gives you so much optimism for the future even though each one of them deals with brutal honesty with some very difficult passages in their young lives ... Very interesting and challenging stories ... An invigorating read ... I wish I'd had something like this when I was a teenager ... Seeing the brilliance of the writing is a promise of a better life as an adult ... A wonderful read for teenagers ..." --Michele Landsberg, CBC Radio

Home | News | About | Books | Upcoming | Photos | Links | Credit Courses | Contact