Nanaimo Girl

  • Pages:280
  • Publisher:Cormorant Books
  • Themes:friendship, relationships, press secretary, life story, London
  • Available:03/31/2020
  • Age Groups:Adult Nonfiction

“Reading Nanaimo Girl is like enjoying a martini or three with Auntie Mame. The stories are colourful, global, boozy and just cheeky enough to make you envious — and at the same time a little concerned.” — Dana Gee, Vancouver Sun

Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia in the 1930s, Prudence Emery was expected to do the right things, but shattered family expectations by going to art school in London, England, where studies sometimes took a back seat to partying. And then she found herself in the world of celebrities.

From Expo 67 in Montreal to the press office at London's Savoy Hotel, Prudence met the likes of Twiggy, Noël Coward, Louis Armstrong, Petula Clark, Liza Minelli, and Edward Albee. She escorted David Frost to an interview with Sheikh Mujibar Rahman and arranged for Pierre Trudeau to attend a party where he met Barbra Streisand for the first time. It was a world so rich with stories that the Canadian Press wrote, "If ever a job was tailor-made for a book of memoirs, Prudence Emery has it."

Nanaimo Girl is the story of a life well-lived and an encouragement to all, young and old, to get out, defy expectations, and have a rip-roaring good time.

“These are bleak times for sure, so a memoir from someone who merrily defied expectations is welcome. Nanaimo-born Prudence Emery thumbed her nose at her parents’ stodgy demands, decamped to art school in London and later worked in the press office at the Savoy Hotel. There she developed the art of partying with the rich and famous, until she realized her excesses may prove too dangerous and moved back to Canada. Although she settled in Victoria, she, happily, never really settled down. All of this she recalls in amusing detail, while insisting we all live life fearlessly and pursue true happiness.”
– NOW Magazine
“While the book is filled with details about the famous, it’s told with the delight of a Nanaimo girl whose first full spoken sentence — according to its first chapter — was ‘Isn’t it funny.’”
– CTV Vancouver Island
“Live life fearlessly and pursue happiness. How's that for an antidote to these hushed times? That's the feeling you get on reading Nanaimo Girl, a new memoir by author Prudence Emery, chronicling escapades and adventures with a wild cast of characters over many decades. Author Prudence Emery spoke to host Gill Deacon joins on Here and Now's Tuesday afternoon Book Club.”
– Here and Now CBC
“Emery is a natural storyteller, which serves her well in Nanaimo Girl. Recently published by Toronto’s Cormorant Books imprint, the book covers Emery’s life to date, but really soars as she pinballs from 1957 to 1975 between Canada and England.”
– Times Colonist
“While recounting events that chronicle her personal life, the reader is left with a dizzying array of interlocking stories that culminate in — if you'll excuse the phrase — one hell of a life.”
– The Ormsby Review