American-Canadian author, Marilyn Wilson
Life Outside the Box is American-Canadian
writer Marilyn R. Wilson's debut book after a decade of writing
and editing for magazines and her own blog, "Olio by Marilyn." In it she turns
her mind’s eye onto the personal stories of her subjects, bringing out their
inner dialogues to "entertain, inspire and
challenge." Wilson is a gifted storyteller and an adept
narrator with great insight and wisdom into people’s inner selves.
Life Outside the Box invites you into the lives of 10 unique people:
Julie Salsibury, William Orlowski,
Geir Ness, and
book profiles these seemingly disparate individuals, they have a lot more in common
than at first glance: all share in the proverbial journey from near
tragedy to triumph (and succeed). We get to share in the intimate
biographies of fashion designers, a photographer, dancer, visual artist,
perfume maker, book publisher enjoying "real stories about real people," as Wilson's
Each story is told with enough
passion to draw you in, each page revealing. You have to give props to the ten so willing to be so open and vulnerable. Publisher Julie Salisbury talks candidly
about the real physical pain and humiliation she endured having fought
scoliosis her whole life, requiring a conspicuous back brace. Canadian tap
dancer William Orlowski learns he has a rare and debilitating disease,
“generalized dystonia” when he’s on top of his game. These are just a few
examples of the human conditions Wilson explores – that is – it’s a hard-knocked
life; the universe owes us no favours and her subjects are fighting to get back
up on the pedestal they are constantly being pushed off of.
These are not small stories but rather microcosms. Wilson uses
her strength as a writer to explore each person’s life, taking us from
childhood to adult, sparing no detail. Her subjects’ lives could be our own.
Wilson wisely never lingers too long on one issue or topic,
keeping the narration clipping along at a reasonable pace, carrying the reader forward.
Life Outside the Box
is as much about Wilson’s journey from hobby writer to
professional scribe, as it is about the personalities she documents. What is
a journey if it isn’t about life, the good, the bad, the ugly? As Socrates
said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” We process our thoughts and
examine paths taken and contemplate our existence and the meaning of life
within a vacuum, eventually finding our way. Wilson asserts this notion in the
introduction: “I have found my life’s purpose…every time I conduct an
interview…I am changed.”
As she demonstrates in her lifestyle writing, Wilson has a
unique way of seeing personal and intimate stories where others may see
banality, and her work shows a tremendous respect for life’s endless journey.
Life Outside the Box (Influence Publishing, 220 pp, trade paperback) is available on Amazon.