Press

media and reviews, www.juliedevaney.comPlease feel free to contact me with any press queries including: comment on current health care events, insight into patient experience, discussion about my writing and projects.

SHORT BIO

 


Julie Devaney is a patient activist living in Toronto. She is the author of My Leaky Body (Goose Lane Editions: 2012) and co-editor of MESS: The Hospital Anthology (Tightrope Books: 2014). My Leaky Body was one of Quill and Quire’s Top Five Non-fiction books of 2012. Julie was named a Woman Health Hero by Best Health Magazine in 2011 and has been profiled on CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art and The Current, in Chatelaine and the Toronto Star. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Life and numerous anthologies. Julie has given hundreds of presentations at medical schools, nursing conferences and theatres throughout Canada and in the US and the UK using participatory techniques with patients and professionals to formulate strategies for change and innovation in healthcare. Her work at the University Health Network in Toronto has transformed real patient stories into staff training.

REVIEWS

“Part memoir, part manifesto, Julie Devaney’s profoundly honest new book should be required reading for anyone who may ever have to visit a hospital — which mean, in effect, everyone. . . . moving and genuinely inspirational.”

—Shawn Syms, Quill & Quire (2012-09-04)

“She has written a rare, profoundly honest and comforting book recommended for anyone enduring the demoralizing maze that is the health-care system. . . . we understand the rage induced by a consistent lack of empathy, and struggle in solidarity as she attempts to reclaim her body and her life. . . . In giving us her rage, humour and fallibility, Devaney has perfectly highlighted our cultural fear of frankly discussing the reality of illness. She knows that we often live in a state of paranoia, attempting to hide from the inevitability of our own decay. We should be grateful she has done us the service of delivering every ugly detail of what she has endured, opening up a comforting conversation, giving her harrowing experience meaning, and utilizing it to empower others.”

— Stacey May Fowles, The National Post (2012-11-08)

“A complicated story told in a compelling way. . . . with aching prose and wry humour, she shares the intimacies of her life and offers a glimpse into her rage and determination. . . . It is a must-read for each of us who thinks there are definite answers to medical problems. It is a must-read for those who think that chronic illness must surely get easier to bear. And, yes, it is a must-read for medical professionals. . . . There are exquisite pieces of wisdom in this book.”

— Adelia Neufeld Wiens, Winnipeg Free Press (2012-12-18)

My Leaky Body . . . lays bare the deficiencies in health care, creating somewhat of a road map for others who want to/must transform the system. This is a brave, daring, tell-all book filled with raw courage.”

Owen Sound Sun Times (2013-01-21)

“Devaney’s vision is of a world where health care is fully funded, and where med students are taught good manners, where sick people are comforted, not warehoused. . . . This dream should not only come true in theatres and books — but all across Canada.”

Catholic Register (2013-01-21)

“If literature is the artist vulnerable, then writer Julie Devaney has created art out of the unlikeliest of mediums: ulcerative colitis. . . . This is a unique work, utterly original; raw, authentic and hungry.”

— Amy Anderson, Scene (2013-05-03)

My Leaky Body is self-aware without being self-pitying. It is empowering without being condescending and it is a strong, new young woman’s voice in Canadian non-fiction. This book will resonate whether you’re reading it on a stretcher in the closet of a hospital too full to house you, or curled up in bed or in a café.”

— Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, Herizons (2013-09-11)

“This book is one that anyone treating chronic disease should read, as a patient viewpoint reminder and a frank, honest, angry, and often funny demonstration of how our policies, actions, and discussions aren’t always received by patients in the way we hope. It is extremely well written in a candid and un-self-conscious style, but I was most impressed by what Julie Devaney has herself taken on in her real life. She has used her story and her experiences in courageous and innovative performances to improve the lot of other patients to come.”

— Cynthia Verchere, BC Medical Journal (2013-12-18)

My Leaky Body is many things at once: it is a critical investigation of healthcare culture, an activist’s handbook, a real-life horror story, and a provoking confessional memoir.”

— Aimee Ouellette, subTerrain (2013-12-18)

“Julie Devaney’s piece is a must-see. Brave, honest, touching, and truly hilarious. My Leaky Body can help unite medical professionals and patients to make health-care the best it can be. Don’t miss it.”

—Diane Flacks, Toronto Star

“I’ve often thought the only way people like me can really know what it’s like to be a patient is to become one. Or, take lessons from Toronto writer Julie Devaney who spent five years in and out of hospital. She turned her painful experiences into My Leaky Body, a one-woman show she’s taken across Canada and around the world.”

—Dr. Brian Goldman, White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio

“Activist Julie Devaney uses her own experiences with colitis to criticize the health care system and the insensitivity of medical professionals as she’s dragged through what she dubs ‘hospital purgatory’. The conversational material rings scarily true and blends ironic humour with chilling realities. Moments of fantasy—she’s visited by health care saint Tommy Douglas and opens her heart to Shania Twain—mix with concerns about having sex and the trials she suffers at the hands of caregivers and insurance companies. There is no question that Devaney is brave not only to tell her story but also to put herself onstage, and her final note is one of empowerment…”

—Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine, Toronto

 

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