All posts tagged: memoir

REAL ESTATE + A HOME OF MY OWN

By Leslie Lindsay Two celebrated authors write autobiographies about home and writing. Always with a Book| Memoir Monday A HOUSE OF MY OWN: Stories from My Life by Sandra Cisneros Leslie Lindsay Spotlight REAL ESTATE: A Living Autobiography by Deborah Levy The author of two widely acclaimed novels (THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET), a story collection, and two books of poetry, Sandra Cisneros is the recipient of numerous awards, including The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, The Lannan Literary Awards, The American Book Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, Cisneros was born in Chicago but resides in Mexico. Deborah Levy is of the great thinkers and writers of our time, and here is the highly anticipated final installment in critically acclaimed “living autobiography” series. She is the author of seven novels: Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, The Unloved, Billy and Girl, Swimming Home, Hot Milk, and The Man Who Saw Everything.. Her work is widely translated. ABOUT REAL ESTATE (Levy, 2021): “I began to wonder what myself and all unwritten and unseen women would possess in their property portfolios at the …

MEMOIR MONDAY: Michelle Oranage’s PURE FLAME is less of a legacy, and more of a heritage, about mothers & daughters, a reckoning with matralineal ties

By Leslie Lindsay An intellectual, personal, and ultimately ferocious reckoning with feminism, family, and motherhood from a celebrated critic. A New York Times Edi­tors’ Choice ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ MEMOIR MONDAY Featured Spotlight: PURE FLAME by Michelle Orange Michelle Orange is the author of the essay collection This Is Running for Your Life, named a best book of 2013 by The New Yorker. Her writing has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, Bookforum, McSweeney’s, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, where she is a contributing editor. She teaches in the graduate writing programs at Goucher College and Columbia University. ABOUT PURE FLAME: During one of the texting sessions that became our habit over the period I now think of as both late and early in our relationship, my mother revealed the existence of someone named Janis Jerome. So begins Michelle Orange’s extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of maternal legacy―in her own family and across a century of seismic change. Jerome, she learns, is one of her mother’s many alter egos: the name used in a case …

An exploration of the memoir that was the catalyst to Donald Antrim’s ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL, a writing workshop, prompt, exercise and more.

By Leslie Lindsay A tender and often darkly funny portrait of a family ravaged by alcoholism, death, and more, THE AFTERLIFE is about a writer discovering his origins and his future. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY SPOTLIGHT, WORKSHOP, PROMPTS: The Afterlife by Donald Antrim Donald Antrim is an American novelist. His first novel, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, was published in 1993. In 1999, The New Yorker named him as among the 20 best writers under the age of 40. In 2013, he was named a MacArthur Fellow. His most recent book, a memoir, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL (October 12, 2021, from W.W. Norton & Co.) is profound, thought-provoking, and infused with clear-eyed examination of one’s life, but the bigger issue at hand: the human condition, sigma. ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE: Last week, I featured Donald Antrim’s most recent memoir, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL: A Story of Suicide and Survival (W.W. Norton, 2021). Link to read that Q&A HERE. ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL struck me in so many ways, maybe it was because …

Memoir Monday: Donald Antrim on his new book, one most difficult to write, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL, how he views suicide as an illness, not an act, a battle with a long-term disease, how literature often misrepresents what its like to live through suicide, more

By Leslie Lindsay A timely and topical call to action, a plea, about the changing nature of suicide, told from someone who has been ‘on the brink’ and back, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL is a tender, emotional, raw, exploration of what the author posits a ‘social problem.’ ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Leslie Lindsay & Donald Antrim in conversation Donald Antrim is an American novelist. His first novel, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, was published in 1993. In 1999, The New Yorker named him as among the 20 best writers under the age of 40. In 2013, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.  ABOUT ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL: I cannot love this book any more. ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL (October 12, 2021, from W.W. Norton & Co.) isprofound, thought-provoking, and infused with clear-eyed examination of one’s life, but the bigger issue at hand: the human condition, sigma. Through a raw and harrowing–yet beautiful–account of the author’s suicide attempt, we are led right onto the fire escape where he vacillated on the decision to …

GHOST WEEK: Is writing about family a kindness or intrusion? Kat Chow’s SEEING GHOSTS: A Memoir about her mother, race, culture, immigration, more, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay “[…]The archaeologists of memory, unearthing places we have wavered in going. Like all books that haunt us long after reading, SEEING GHOSTS is a courageous act of excavation and salvage.” –Ocean Vuong, New York Times bestselling author of ON EARTH WE ARE BRIEFLY BEAUTIFUL ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ GHOST WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Featured Spotlight: SEEING GHOSTS: A Memoir Kat Chow is a writer and journalist, a former NPR reporter, and the founding member of the Code Switch team. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and on RadioLab, among others. She is one of Pop Culture Happy Hour’s fourth chairs. She received residency fellowships from the Millay Colony and the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She lives near Washington, D.C. SEEING GHOSTS (Grand Central Publishing, August 24 2021) is her highly anticipated first book. ABOUT SEEING GHOSTS: A powerful and haunting portrait of grief told through the prism of three generations of Kat Chow’s family. Always unusually fixated on death, Kat worried constantly about her …

Is a ghost a commitment? What do we inherit? Laraine Herring talks about her new memoir, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS, speculative work, epigenetics, ravens, and more

By Leslie Lindsay A truly unique slant to a traditional genre, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is just that–a cacophony of voices from the past, present, and maybe future–surrounding strong themes of life, death, grief, ancestry, shunning and estrangement. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Leslie Lindsay & Laraine Herring in conversation Author, lover of cats, creative writing professor, grief counselor, illustrator, book coach (focusing exclusively on women over 40), and founder of Hags on Fire, a ‘zine for women to write about aging through perimenopause, menopause, and croning, Laraine Herring is multitalented and constantly juggling. A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is her most recent memoir. ABOUT A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS: A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS (forthcoming Oct 19 2021 from Regal House Publishing), is unlike any other, inviting you to think deeply about your ancestors, loss/death, your body, and more. Like a murder of crows or an unkindness of ravens, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is just that: a boisterous and magical exchange of voices in the dark, from within and with…out. It’s a bit poetic in a sense, but …

Diana Kupershmit talks about her unbearable decision, second chances, parenting a child with special needs, photography, and more in her moving memoir EMMA’S LAUGH

By Leslie Lindsay An elegantly raw, and often brutal memoir of a mother’s loss, but also a deep gift of second chances, growth, and more. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book|Memoir Monday Leslie Lindsay & Diana Kupershmit in Conversation Convinced of her inability to love her “imperfect” child and give her the best care and life she deserved, Diana Kupershmit gave her first-born up for adoption. But as with all things that are meant to be, Emma found her way back home. Diana is a social worker, mother, and photographer. EMMA’S LAUGH is her debut memoir. ABOUT EMMA’S LAUGH: The Gift of Second Chances: In this hugely moving and harrowing examination of a life, love, and loss, Diana Kupershmit takes a tragic–and seemingly–unfair situation and turns into a EMMA’S LAUGH: The Gift of Second Chances (SWP, June 2021), about her first-born’s rare, genetic condition, and the gifts she bestowed on the family.Like most eager new parents, Diana imagined a perfect child when she gave birth for the first time to Emma, at the age of …

Catherine Raven asks: why do we separate ourselves so much from one another? Moving from graph paper to words, she provides reason & intuition to readers in her debut nature memoir, FOX AND I, plus advice and letting go of bitterness

By Leslie Lindsay Wise, thoughtful, and intimate portrayal of a solitary woman’s relationship with nature, particularly a male fox who sort of befriends her, a lush literary and ecological study. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Catherine Raven in Conversation A naturalist, writer, and professor, Catherine Raven lives ‘off-the-grid’ in Montana. FOX AND I is her debut nature-memoir. About FOX AND I: An Uncommon Friendship: Can humans and wild animals become friends? That’s the overarching question in this debut memoir, FOX AND I by Catherine Raven (Spiegel & Grau, July 7 2021) in which a woman biologist–living remotely–becomes acquainted with a fox. Each day, at approximately the same time, outside her cozy cottage in the woods, a fox would appear. She was intrigued and then began reading to him from THE LITTLE PRINCE, and he’d return. There’s more here, too, mostly about Raven’s life as a park ranger, teaching and leading field classes in Yellowstone National Park, and more. It’s about isolation and nature, how the two meld to bring self-awareness. As for the …

Memoir Monday May Roundup with an emphasis on Motherhood & Mental Illness

By Leslie Lindsay May is all about growth. Spring is in full bloom; and it’s a time for recognition and celebration, but it can also be a loaded month. Over thirty years ago this month, my mother devolved into psychosis. We were estranged starting in my tweens, until her suicide over six years ago. How does that leave me to mother my own daughters? Would I fall victim to the same genetic legacy? Could I break the cycle of poor mother-daughter relationships? And how do I celebrate Mother’s Day with no mother? How did I celebrate my mother when she was alive and not capable of being much of one? “I am so grateful to have this conversation with you. It means a great deal respond to someone who has so carefully read my work and I’m thankful to have this opportunity to reflect in this way.” -Vince Granta, EVERYTHING’S FINE For the entire month of May, I’ve featured some really wise and thoughtful authors–they’ve courageously shared their relationships with their mothers, opened up about …

Tori Starling talks about her debut, CRAZY FREE, traversing three generations of women, postpartum depression, anxiety; plus a defunct mental health institution, how we need more resources, the healing power of energy medicine, more

By Leslie Lindsay What if the story you had always been led to believe about your family was shaken with a new, devastating truth? ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Spotlight: Motherhood & Mental Health What if the story you had always been led to believe about your family was shaken with a new, devastating truth? That’s the overarching question in CRAZY FREE (Juniper Ray Publishing, April 20th), a debut by Tori Starling. I was immediately entranced with this stunning cover, but what’s more: CRAZY FREE focuses on issues that are near and dear to my heart: motherhood and mental illness. Emily Sharp has always known there were holes in her family history. Her mother, Pam, a high-strung attorney, rarely speaks of her father she despises and her mother died when she was a baby. Emily is a journalist with an assignment from Southern Speaks, a local magazine, to investigate a defunct mental institution known as Hamilton Meadow. While there, Emily discovers more about the institution and Pam reluctantly opens up about her sordid family …