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March 2021 Adult Top Picks

My Mother's Daughter
A Memoir of Struggle and Triumph
By (author): Perdita Felicien
Perdita Felicien


Doubleday Canada



Product Form:



General Trade
Mar 30, 2021
$32.95 CAD


9.28in x 6.3 x 1.21 in | 1.11 lb

Page Count:

320 pages


Doubleday Canada
Kobo Emerging Writer Prize 2022, Short-listed
A raw and affecting memoir about a mother and daughter who beat the odds together.

Decades before Perdita Felicien became a World Champion hurdler running the biggest race of her life at the 2004 Olympics, she carried more than a nation’s hopes: she carried her mother’s dreams.

In 1974, teenage Catherine is determined and tenacious, but she’s also pregnant with her second child and just scraping by in St. Lucia. When she meets a wealthy white Canadian family vacationing on the island, she knows it’s her chance. They ask her to come to Canada to be their nanny—and she accepts.

This was the beginning of Catherine’s new life: a life of opportunity, yet also of suffering. Within a few years, she would find herself pregnant a third time—this time in her new country with no family to support her, and this time, with Perdita. Together, in the years to come, mother and daughter would experience racism, domestic abuse, and even homelessness, but Catherine’s will would always pull them through.

As Perdita grew and began to discover her preternatural gifts, she was edged onward by her mother’s love, grit, and faith. Facing literal and figurative hurdles, she learned to leap and pick herself back up when she stumbled. Intimate and poignant, joyous and heartwarming, this is a daughter’s memoir—a book about the power of a parent’s love to transform their child’s life.

The author will donate a portion of her proceeds from My Mother’s Daughter to The Denise House, an emergency shelter in Oshawa, Ontario, that supports abused women and their children—and that helped Perdita and her family in 1987. Learn more about The Denise House at www.thedenisehouse.com.

Story Locale: Ontario, Canada; St.Lucia

WIDE APPEAL: Gold Mettle isn’t simply an athlete’s memoir. It is a deeply personal, rich, emotional and rewarding family story about a mother and daughter who, together, overcome obstacles and build a life for themselves. Perdita’s memoir is not just for her existing base: with its themes of immigration and marginalization, domestic violence and poverty, it is a book that will reach a wide audience. It will appeal to readers of family memoirs by authors like Trevor Noah, Plum Johnson, Camilla Gibb, Katie Hafner and more.

LITERARY APLOMB: Perdita is best known for being a world-class athlete—but she’s a beautiful, lyrical writer too! She tells her story in a way that is personal and raw, affecting and inspiring. We hope to see Gold Mettle on prize lists.

RISING STAR: Perdita Felicien is the host of a reality competition show, All-Round Champion, which aired on TVO (Canada) and BYUtv (US) in February 2020. She will also have a central role in covering the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the CBC.

MEDIAGENIC: Perdita is a dynamic and engaging speaker who can be booked via Speakers’ Spotlight. She charms and inspires audiences wherever she goes. She is also well connected, and we are exploring an ambitious list of blurbers.

PERDITA FELICIEN is an author, television host, sports broadcaster, motivational speaker, two-time Olympian, ten-time National Champion, and the first Canadian woman to win a World Championship gold medal in track and field. During her career as a 100-metres hurdler, she earned numerous honours, including Canada’s Athlete of the Year and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Perdita retired from professional sports in 2013 and is the host of the television series, All-Round Champion, and a member of CBC’s hosting team during the 2020 Summer and 2022 Winter Olympics. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and studied creative writing at The University of Chicago’s Writer’s Studio.

Author Residence: Toronto, ON

Author Hometown: Pickering, ON


Paid social advertising

Google Search/Display ads

Influencer outreach

Goodreads giveaways

Focus of Penguin Random House Canada and Doubleday Canada social accounts and newsletters

US Plans: 

Advance mailing to trade publications including Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus 

Target women’s long lead outlets such as Women’s Day, Shape Magazine, O Magazine, Good Housekeeping and Readers Digest 

Mailing to sports publications and major print newspapers including Sports Illustrated and ESPNRadio tour 

Pitch content to websites such as refinery29, people.com and popsugar 

Influencer mailing to popular female athletes (Abby Wambach) 

Social Advertising 

Publicity: Target key national and local broadcast media in Toronto for segments, especially leveraging her relationship with the CBC (outlets include The Social, The Marilyn Denis Show, Your Morning, Global’s The Morning Show, CBC’s The National, etc.)

Target impactful print feature attention with outlets like Chatelaine, Refinery29, Elle Canada, and Postmedia

Leverage author’s profile as an elite Canadian athlete for attention with sports-forward media

National tour (cities TBC)

Author Website: perditafelicien.com

Author Social Media: Twitter and Instagram: @perditafelicien; Facebook: www.facebook.com/Perdita-Felicien-168510829855430

Shortlisted for the 2022 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of 2021

"[A] beautifully written and compelling memoir." Toronto Star

"So captivating is the story of Cathy Felicien Browne's life . . . that by the time her daughter Perdita runs her first sprint halfway through the book, you might have forgotten all about the fact that the author is former World Champion hurdler Perdita Felicien. . . . In this inspiring memoir, Felicien . . . recounts the despair and the triumphs like a champion." —The Globe and Mail

"Perdita Felicien takes on the ambitious feat of chronicling an intergenerational story of resilience and succeeds with unflinching clarity. Her controlled and poised prose details raw and often messy emotions with intelligence and compassion, while the fierce honesty with which she writes emphasizes the magnitude of maternal love and the bonds of family. A memoir with a commanding voice, My Mother’s Daughter is a love letter to mother-daughter relationships." —Zalika Reid-Benta, Giller Prize-nominated author of Frying Plantain

"We are not defined by when we fall; rather, it's the journey of where we come from that holds the deepest definition of self. Perdita Felicien is so much more than a champion athlete. This phenomenal, human story shows a Canada many people will never know, the power of a mother's love for her daughter, and the indefatigable resilience in the face of so much struggle. I could not put this book down." —Clara Hughes, six-time Olympic medalist and author of Open Heart, Open Mind

"A book about the most important team any of us plays on—our family—by one of the greatest athletes Canada has ever produced. Perdita Felicien reminds us that the accomplishments you see out on the track, field or rink are the result not just of talent and practice, but of someone's love." —Cathal Kelly, author of Boy Wonders ?

"Perdita Felicien first stole our hearts as a world champion, but now she takes us behind the scenes to the heartache of her tumultuous childhood and to the grit she needed to triumph over adversity. Her story is for everyone who dreams big. This book made me laugh and cry and cheer out loud. It's a winner—like Perdita herself." —Sally Armstrong, journalist

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