The Light Streamed Beneath It
A Memoir of Grief and Celebration
A Publishers Weekly Notable Book
49th Shelf Recommended Read
A modern gay memoir exploring love, death, pain, and community that will resonate long after the last page.
“This is an embodied story of love, loss, and recovery — raw, candid, and filled with a sense of awe at human resilience.” — Shelf Awareness
“A timely story so human, so beautiful, so bravely told with heart and humour.” — Rosie O’Donnell
A lifetime of finding punchlines in his heartache comes to a shuddering stop when comedian and writer Shawn Hitchins loses two great loves, five months apart, to sudden death. In this deeply poignant memoir that combines sober self-portrait with tender elegy, Hitchins explores the messiness of being alive: the longing and desire, scorching-earth anger, raw grief — and the pathway of healing he discovers when he lets his heart remain open.
Never without an edge of self-awareness, The Light Streamed Beneath It invites the reader into Hitchins’s world as he reckons with his past and stays painfully in the present. As he builds an embodied future, he confronts the stories that have shaped him, sets aside his ambition, and seeks connection in what he used to deflect with laughter — therapy, community and chosen family, movement, spirituality, and an awareness of death’s ever-presence.
A heartrending and hope-filled story of resilience in the wake of death, The Light Streamed Beneath It joyfully affirms that life is essentially good, as Hitchins weaves his tale full of tenacious spirit, humor, kindness, and grit through life’s most unforgiving challenges.
Shawn Hitchins is the author of A Brief History of Oversharing (ECW, 2017). His one-man show Ginger Nation toured extensively before being filmed in concert. Hitchins is an award-winning entertainer, writer, personality, and creator of live performance. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he splits himself between Eastern and Pacific time zones.