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The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays (Paperback)

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I have a growing list of women whose writing makes me feel vulnerable and introspective and purposeful in the best way, and I was so happy to find Megan Stielstra to add to it. This is a collection of threaded essays exploring family and politics and relationships and work and community and the power of writing, difficult to pin down in its breadth and deeply thoughtful as a whole. Stielstra writes of being a person in the world with such an incredible sense of empathy that, wanting to spend more time with her, I was sorry to see this book end. 

— From Kelsey's Picks


From an important new American writer comes this powerful collection of personal essays on fear, creativity, art, faith, academia, the Internet, and justice.

In this poignant and inciting collection of literary essays, Megan Stielstra tells stories to ward off fears both personal and universal as she grapples toward a better way to live. In her titular piece "The Wrong Way To Save Your Life," she answers the question of what has value in our lives--a question no longer rhetorical when the apartment above her family's goes up in flames. "Here is My Heart" sheds light on Megan's close relationship with her father, whose continued insistence on climbing mountains despite a series of heart attacks leads the author to dissect deer hearts in a poetic attempt to interrogate her own feelings about mortality.

Whether she's imagining the implications of open-carry laws on college campuses, recounting the story of going underwater on the mortgage of her first home, or revealing the unexpected pains and joys of marriage and motherhood, Stielstra's work informs, impels, enlightens, and embraces us all. The result is something beautiful--this story, her courage, and, potentially, our own.

Intellectually fierce and viscerally intimate, Megan Stielstra's voice is witty, wise, warm, and above all, achingly human.

"Stielstra is a masterful essayist."--Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062429209
ISBN-10: 0062429205
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English