“The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays“
Release: August 1, 2017
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
Megan Stielstra’s story collection, Everyone Remain Calm, was a Chicago Tribune Favorite of 2011, and her essay collection, Once I Was Cool, is forthcoming May 2014. Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays 2013, The Rumpus, PANK, Other Voices, and elsewhere. She is the Literary Director of the critically-acclaimed 2nd Story storytelling series and has told stories for all sorts of theaters, festivals, and bars including the Goodman, Steppenwolf, the Neo-Futurarium, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and regularly for The Paper Machete live news magazine at The Green Mill. She teaches creative writing at Columbia College and Northwestern University.
Online: http://www.meganstielstra.com and @meganstielstra