The Shame of Losing is a finalist in the 2019 Washington State Book Awards! Read About it in the Seattle Times and the Seattle Review of Books.

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Every human contract has a flaw built into it. Cannon is trying to find a way to embrace that flaw, to turn it into a strength, and to find the honesty embedded within the lie. The drama of Losing is in watching her come to terms with that gap and to incorporate it into her story as best she can.
— Paul Constant, The Seattle Review of Books
Though surrounded by a loving family and generous friends, Cannon is at times unable to accept the help they offer. She has circled the wagons so closely around her young family; these rays of light can hardly penetrate its defensive perimeter. She cannot bear to respond honestly to inquiries from neighbors, children’s teachers and fellow moms with anything less than full-throated optimism, for fear that if she utters the words—her husband might be permanently disabled—they may just be true.
— Dr. Carolyn Roy-Bornstein, Physician, Author, and Editor of Book Reviews at Doctors Who Create
A major strength of this memoir is Cannon’s passionate release of her voice, her shame. She speaks to us like we are confidantes over the phone late at night. We get to hear about the tedious woes of Workers Compensation, piles of paperwork, and pinching pennies. We nod our heads as Cannon complains about the easiness of other people’s problems and her jealousy of them. We listen as she screams in the hospital: “Get me the eff out of here!” In The Shame of Losing, we see a woman who is not a perfect mother, not a perfect wife.
— Delia Rainey, Punctuate Magazine

From Mike Thee in the Seattle University Newsroom: “As the stress and strain of her husband’s injury exacted a toll on their marriage, her entries began to take a new form. “The demise of our relationship was happening before my eyes,” she says, “and when he eventually left the family home, I began writing letters to him (in my journal) to make myself feel less resentful.” In time, Cannon got more serious about her emerging craft and enrolled in an MFA program in Creative Writing. It was, she says, “a huge gift to myself.”

From Tyler Rose LaMay, Collateral Intern: “Shame is the ugly bridesmaid’s dress that gets shoved into the dark recesses of a closet. We know it’s there, and from time to time, thoughts of it drift into our consciousness. We become adept at shoving it sideways, looking around it, keeping the torment and the guilt of our shame to ourselves. Sarah Cannon’s The Shame of Losing is an open, honest look at a life, a family, and a marriage forever changed by a traumatic event. In effect, Cannon throws open the closet door where shame is draped and lets us all inside.”

From the Author Q & A with Women Writers, Women Books: “We know all the best stories are close to the bone in that way that makes us question, Is this a true story? In my case, I was living my story while writing about it, and my new writer friends and mentors knew it, because that’s what I kept bringing to the table. When one obsesses on a theme, it’s time to pay attention.”

From the Author Q & A with Literary magazine, Pif: “I did not imagine I would write a memoir. I thought only celebrities or retired politicians wrote memoirs, and that you had to pronounce “memoir” in French, which sounded kind of snooty to me. I thought that you had to be really sophisticated to have a story worthy of telling. I came to grad school thinking I was going to learn how to write a movie script. I was fascinated by the drama in my life and wanted to build from it and learn that form. I was interested in entertaining others, not examining myself.”

Read an excerpt from Mom Egg Review and read from the Authors’ Notes: “Capturing the arc of a young, privileged woman in love with her chosen capable man who goes on to face hardship she never could have imagined, has been the hardest and most rewarding way to contain this grief. Am I still sad? Yes, sometimes. Am I ashamed? Not really. Or I am, but I am working on it. In creating literature and making a book, I found a way to liberate myself little bit. I documented how I viewed the world and I did this for my children.” Read a review at Mom Egg Review by poet and English professor Christine Stewart-Nunez.