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Month: April 2016

• Review of “The Reader Is the Protagonist” at Vela mag

There’s a nice review of the VQR essay in Vela magazine’s regular feature “Women We Read This Week.” (“Dark, bizarre, and lyrical”:  That works for me.) Vela’s stated mandate is to “help close the byline gender gap by publishing exceptional nonfiction written by women, and by drawing attention to outstanding work by women writers at other online publications, print magazines, and publishing houses.” They also offer an excellent compilation of long- and short-form nonfiction — The Unlisted List — intended for future list-makers and anthologists.

• Memoir excerpt in Virginia Quarterly


“The Reader is the Protagonist,” an excerpt from the memoir, is in the Spring 2016 issue of  Virginia Quarterly Review. You can read it here. (Illustration by Thomas Allen.)

The summer of 1989, shortly after my second husband and I married, we buckled my two daughters, who were seven and three, into the rear seat of a used car purchased for cash. We’d already sold most of our belongings and walked away from the rest, and packed the car’s trunk with what remained: clothing and toys, pillows and blankets, four place settings, one pot, one pan. We told no one where we were going. We meant to disappear. Driving east out of California, we decided on our new names. If we hadn’t been so shell-shocked, it might have been fun, the idea of starting over, starting fresh, in a place where we were unknown. But this was do-it-yourself witness protection. Hidden under the driver’s seat was a book on how to create new identities, but it couldn’t tell us who we’d be ,,,