life rattle show no. 1224

Presented on Sunday, September 30, 2012


Hosted by laurie kallis


"Extreme Unction"
by Michelle Kathryn Duklas

tonight's Show

Tonight, we present three stories from new Life Rattle writer, Michelle Kathryn Duklas.

Michelle Kathryn Duklas was born in 1991 and raised in the suburbs along with her two younger siblings. Michelle spent her high school years tutoring English, working at a veterinary hospital and advocating for mental health awareness through an anti-bullying campaign. In university, where she studied politics and writing, Michelle wrote for the sports section of her campus newspaper. She also wrote and designed advertisements and publications for her job at a charity. After graduating from university, she plans to pursue a career in editing and publishing. Michelle Kathryn Duklas enjoys reading philosophy, skating outdoors, swimming in Georgian Bay and watching the Olympics.

With fresh, bright writing, Michelle depicts three generations of a family coping with the failing health of their grandfather (Dziadek in Polish). With a wonderful juxtaposition of youth and old age, humour and sadness, and some ironic twists, these stories are both very touching and frighteningly relevant to all families.

Tonight’s first story "911" introduces us to the family, as our young narrator quietly observes the paramedics who rush her Dziadek to the hospital.

Our second story "Extreme Unction" brings us to the hospital where Dziadek is ailing. From outside of the hospital room where all the adult members of their family have gathered around Dziadek, our young narrator and her younger siblings fearfully observe the rituals of the visiting priest.

Tonight's final story "Baycrest" brings us to the health care centre where Dziadek, who suffers from dementia as well as physical health problems, is being cared for. Our narrator and her younger siblings discover some differences between their Polish culture and the Jewish culture they encounter at the centre.