Bonnie Sherr Klein was born in Philadelphia on April 1, 1941 and immigrated to Canada with her husband in 1967 in opposition to the Vietnam War. She has since made more than 25 films, the best-known of which, for the NBF, is Not a Love Story, A Film About Pornography, 1981. Now an Officer of the Order of Canada, the award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, and anti-war and climate change activist suffered a catastrophic brainstem stroke in 1987. On a summer day, she and her husband Michael were enjoying a few days alone at their cabin. After a day in the outdoors, Klein became weak and nauseous. When she began to stagger and slur her speech, her husband, a physician, rushed her to the hospital in Montreal. Two weeks later, she suffered a second, nearly fatal stroke. Klein was 46 at the time. She spent seven months in the hospital and three years in rehabilitation. Eventually, Klein learned to get around with two canes or a motorized scooter. She moved to British Columbia in 1993 and subsequently co-wrote a memoir, Slow Dance: A Story of Strokes, Love and Discovery (Knopf) with Persimmon Blackbridge, for which they received the 1998 VanCity Women's Book Prize. She has since co-founded KickstART Society for Disability Arts and Culture, made the film Shameless: The ART of Disability (2006) and published a children's book, Beep, Beep Bubbie (Tradewind 2014, reissued 2020), in which Kate is upset when her grandma (Bubbie) gets a motorized scooter. Kate slowly warms to the scooter after she sees what a good friend it is to her grandma. Shopping at Granville Island Market with Bubbie on her scooter turns out to be fun and her little brother Nate loves the scooter’s bells and whistles. Illustrations are by Elisabeth Etudes-Pascal. Klein now moves through the world on a motorized scooter named Gladys. She--not Gladys--is the mother of Naomi Klein, author of the international bestseller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, and other books.


Slow Dance: A Story of Strokes, Love and Discovery (Knopf 1997)

Beep, Beep Bubbie (Tradewind 2014, reissued 2020) 9781926890234

[BCBW 2021] "VanCity"