Nerve with Eva Holland | Ottawa Public Library

Nerve with Eva Holland | Ottawa Public Library

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Join us for a conversation about facing and conquering fears with Eva Holland and Lucy van Oldenbarneveld. This video is a recording of a live event hosted by the Ottawa Public Library on September 8, 2020.

Each year, the Ottawa Public Library offers hundreds of programs in English and French. In addition to staples such as author visits and technology help, we offer programming on a wide variety of topics from fitness to cooking to science. Check our website at Visit for a full list of free programs and events being offered, our online resources, and books to borrow.

A very warm thank you to author Eva Holland, host Lucy van Oldenbarneveld from CBC, the Ottawa International Writers Festival and Library and Archives Canada for this great program!

In 2015, Eva Holland was forced to confront her greatest fear when her mother had a stroke and suddenly passed away. After the shock and grief subsided, Holland began to examine the extent to which her many fears had limited her, and wondered whether or not it was possible to move past them.

This sent Holland on a deep dive into the science of fear, digging into an array of universal and personal questions: Why do we feel fear? Where do phobias come from and how are they related to anxiety disorders and trauma? Can you really smell fear? (Yes.) What would it be like to feel no fear? Is there a cure for fear? Or, put differently, is there a better way to feel afraid?

On her journey, Holland meets with scientists who are working to eliminate phobias with a single pill, she explores the lives of the few individuals who suffer from a rare disease that prevents them from ever feeling fear, and she immerses herself in her own fears, including hurling herself out of a plane for her first skydive (and in the process, learns that there are right and wrong ways to face your fears).

Music by: Blue Dot Sessions