Activist Memoir: Oil and Honey

I wrote an essay recently, "The Final Bakesale," in As It Ought To Be, about the challenge of conveying climate change as a narrative that grabs people emotionally. Bill McKibben's memoir, Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, is a fantastic braided story that addresses this very issue, weaving back and forth between … Continue reading Activist Memoir: Oil and Honey

Next Big Thing

Laura Valeri (fictionista extraordinaire and my wonderful former colleague at Georgia Southern University, author of the beautiful book The Kind of Things Saints Do and the forthcoming linked story collection, Safe in Your Head) asked me to participate in a blog-tagging thing called "The Next Big Thing." Basically, I get to answer these questions and … Continue reading Next Big Thing

Opa Nobody

Opa Nobody, University of Nebraska Press, American Lives Series, 2008 ISBN: 0803243626 Hardcover: $24.95; Paperback: $18.95 Buy from IndieBound: Buy from Amazon       “[S]harp human insights on the omnipresent moral complications of living in Nazi Germany make this a worthwhile read. . . . [A] unique, imaginative take on the family memoir.”—Kirkus Reviews “Grounded in … Continue reading Opa Nobody

Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir

Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir. Class in America Series, University of Nebraska Press. 2010 ISBN: 978-0-8032-2623-4; 208 pp Hardcover: $22.95 Kindle (from Amazon): $13 Buy from IndieBound: Buy from Amazon: Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir Finalist for the 2010 Grub Street National Book Prize in Nonfiction “Wise, irreverent, honest, and utterly compelling. . . . Sonya … Continue reading Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir

How Memoir Helps Society

A memoirist's work these days can often involve reading statements about the badness, self-centered, or non-artistic nature of our work. Do you need me to provide links? There are many, but Neil Genzlinger's article, "The Problem with Memoirs," in the New York Times, seems to sum it up. These are different than controversies over the … Continue reading How Memoir Helps Society

Review of “Hot Cripple”

From Feb. 2012: I saw a review in Elle (yes I read it for the articles and also for the pictures of purses I can't afford) for a memoir entitled Hot Cripple. The blurb got my attention, because the family of memoirs advocating for a wider healthcare safety net is very small, and I want … Continue reading Review of “Hot Cripple”

What Social Class Means

I wrote this piece during the summer and finally gave up trying to get it published in a progressive magazine. It's about the "working class," a title that I suppose sounds old and clunky or sectarian to some editors--but not to me. I'm posting it here because a great article in Inside Higher Education this … Continue reading What Social Class Means

Heidi Cullen and “let’s imagine”

Heidi Cullen's recent book, The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet seems like it should be required reading for anyone living in this era of global warming (and that would be all of us). I found that it pushed me past my own apocalyptic denial; Cullen … Continue reading Heidi Cullen and “let’s imagine”

Sebastian Junger on Objectivity and War

Just finished Sebastian Junger's War, an excellent first-person account of being embedded with soldiers in Afghanistan. It wasn't what I expected--but if a book doesn't defy expectations, it might not be an interesting book. "Journalistic convention holds that you can't write objectively about people you're close to, but you can't write objectively about people who … Continue reading Sebastian Junger on Objectivity and War

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