life rattle show no. 1168
Presented on Sunday, September 4, 2011
Hosted by Laurie Kallis
reading her stories:
Tonight, on Life Rattle Number 1168, we present the first of a multi-show series of outstanding writing—Life Rattle classics, written by Natalia Segal.
Segal has written a collection of stories about her life on the streets— sparse, hard-hitting prose that doesn’t compromise or apologize for itself.
Don’t be mislead by the benign story titles. These stories are not for the young, or the faint-hearted. Listeners’ discretion is strongly advised.
Natalia Segal was born in Moscow, in 1974. In 1982, Segal came, with her mother, to Winnipeg where her father had settled five years earlier. The family moved to Toronto in 1983.
Segal left the family home soon after and moved around the country during the next ten years, living in B.C., Nova Scotia, Alberta as well as Ontario. She lived on the streets, in rooming houses, deep in the woods on mountains and on the sand in hidden beaches and in abandoned buildings—squats. Sometimes she held down an apartment for a few months, but mostly she wandered. Among other places, Segal lived in a small trailer On Cape Breton Island.
She panhandled, begged, and read fortunes (Tarot cards and palms) for a living. She ate at Salvation Armys, or any other soup kitchens and food vans she found. She hitchhiked up and down Canada and entertained tired truckers with her stories and babysat children in winter, in exchange for a spot to sleep on their parents' floor. She trained dogs and chalked on cement and painted faces on rocks and glued pennies together.
Segal eventually got off the street, slowed down, met her soon to be wife, Sandra, and recently completed her MFA in creative writing. Now Segal lives and writes in Toronto with Sandra and their two daughters, Alma and Zara.