Married; children: one.
Writer. Adbusters, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, contributing editor.
Nominated eight times for the Canadian National Magazine award.
U-turn: What If You Woke Up One Morning and Realized You Were Living the Wrong Life?, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to numerous periodicals, including New York Times Magazine, Popular Science, Walrus, Guardian, Marie Claire, Utne Reader, and Adbusters.
A ‘u-turn,’ according to Canadian writer Bruce Grierson, is ‘a ‘total 180’ in some basic thought or belief system.’ On his home page, Grierson provides an analogy of what precipitates a personal u-turn for many people: It's ‘not like having your shoes on the wrong feet,’ he states. It's ‘like having your shoes on your hands.’ In his book U-turn: What If You Woke Up One Morning and Realized You Were Living the Wrong Life?, Grierson shares many examples of people who have completely reinvented their lives, including a stockbroker who gave up a Wall Street career to become a farmer, an astronaut who experienced a religious epiphany in space, and a political conservative who was inspired to change ranks. He also cites scientific evidence as to whether identity crises are hardwired in our genes or linked to a neurological chemical imbalance. Regarding his research, Grierson commented on his home page: ‘I keep thinking of Terry Gross's line about many of the people she has interviewed—people who ‘make their life a test case of what it means to live fully.’ Reinventing oneself is in some way just a sensible response to the fact that we only live once."
Several reviewers noted an underlying religious theme to the book. June Sawyers, writing for Booklist, remarked that ‘what Grierson dubs a wake-up call others may deem a religious epiphany,’ further describing the book as ‘richly anecdotal.’ TheStar.com critic Jessica Warner called U-turn ‘quite possibly the most ecumenical book I have ever read, for it draws on an almost bewildering range of sources.’ Describing the Grierson's choice to present personal experiences, Library Journal reviewer Fran Mentch found that the ‘stories become repetitious,’ which ‘leaves the reader hungry for a more sophisticated consideration of the subject.’ A contributor to Publishers Weekly declared the book ‘a nuanced and informative investigation that speculates but does not reach final conclusions."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2007, June Sawyers, review of U-turn: What If You Woke Up One Morning and Realized You Were Living the Wrong Life?, p. 40.
Library Journal, February 1, 2007, Fran Mentch, review of U-turn, p. 88.
Publishers Weekly, November 13, 2006, review of U-turn, p. 41.
Bruce Grierson Home Page,http://web.mac.com/ilivehere/iWeb/ (October 2, 2007).
TheStar.com,http://www.thestar.com/ (April 22, 2007), Jessica Warner, review of U-turn.