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We're pleased to welcome Jeannine Ouellette to our At Home with Literati Series in support of The Part That Burns. She'll be joined in conversation by Jennifer Pastiloff for an event moderated by Amy Eaton.
Note: we are now hosting on Zoom webinars. You will be prompted to enter a first name and email upon joining. You may then see a window reading "waiting for host to start webinar," but sit tight--you will be admitted as soon as we begin broadcasting live! You will be able to submit questions using the Q&A feature.
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About the book: In her fiercely beautiful memoir, Jeannine Ouellette recollects fragments of her life and arranges them elliptically to witness each piece as torn and whole, as something more than itself. Caught between the dramatic landscapes of Lake Superior and Casper Mountain, between her stepfather's groping and her mother's erratic behavior, Ouellette lives for the day she can become a mother herself and create her own sheltering family. But she cannot know how the visceral reality of both birth and babies will pull her back into the body she long ago abandoned, revealing new layers of pain and desire, and forcing her to choose between her idealistic vision of perfect marriage and motherhood, and the birthright of her own awakening flesh, unruly and alive. The Part That Burns is a story about the tenacity of family roots, the formidable undertow of trauma, and the rebellious and persistent yearning of human beings for love from each other.
Jeannine Ouellette is the author of the memoir The Part That Burns (Split/Lip Press 2021). Her work has appeared widely and been supported with fellowships from Millay Colony for the Arts and Brush Creek Foundation. She teaches creative writing with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. She is also founder and director of Elephant Rock, a creative writing program through which she teaches a groundbreaking virtual workshop called "Writing in the Dark," as well as (when not in a pandemic) in-person retreats combining nature, yoga, breathwork, and puzzling writing exercises that unlock laughter, tears, and revelations on the page in the tradition of John Keats's theory of art as "befriending the unknown." Jeannine earned her MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is working on her first novel.