In the same week that many ironically wished they could just turn 40 already, longtime friends Sarah Chan and Jhenifer Pabillano dropped a sparkly new anthology that uniquely celebrates the milestone.
Authored by a cohort of alumni who shared their undergrad days at The Gateway, the University of Alberta's weekly newspaper, Midlife is a collection of essays from Edmonton's Gen X/millenial cusp. With notable contributors like illustrator extraordinaire Raymond Biesinger, New York Times bestselling cookbook author Leanne Brown, and Mayor Don Iveson (Chan's husband), the tome is a treasure of local lore and friendly reminiscing.
"It was always meant to be a gift for our friends," says Chan. "It was a labour of love."
It came together remarkably quickly, too — the contributors were pitched on January 2, and save for a month-long delay in printing, the publication was ready to launch in under 90 days.
"We wanted to mark that it's been a year since we've all been locked away," Chan adds, noting that the list of contributors are generally extremely busy folk. "There was no way that any of these people would have been able to do all of this, but because of the pandemic, everyone had the time."
Pabillano also notes that they consciously chose to keep the list of writers gender-balanced — a detail that was oft-ignored in newsrooms of yore.