The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays

By Megan Stielstra
Read by Meredith Mitchell  and Megan Stielstra

8.29 Hours 08/01/2017 unabridged
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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.

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Summary

Summary

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Edgy, funny, surprising, a ricochet of wow…The words reach out from the page. They direct us to look, to think, to ask.” Chicago Tribune on Once I Was Cool
“Stielstra is a masterful essayist.” Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author
“Reading this book is like listening to stories from a wise, compassionate, and irrepressibly funny friend.” Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Border of Paradise

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Megan Stielstra

Megan Stielstra is the author of the essay collection Once I Was Cool—a Best of 2014 selection at Chicago magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and Salon—and a short story collection, Everyone Remain Calm. Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays, Poets & Writers, Guernica, Rumpus, and elsewhere, and she recently joined the New York Times as a contributing opinion writer. A longtime company member with 2nd Story in Chicago, Stielstra tells stories for all sorts of theaters, festivals, and bars including the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Neo-Futurarium, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and regularly with The Paper Machete live news magazine at the Green Mill in Chicago, as well as on Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio, and Radio National Australia. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Essays
Runtime: 8.29
Audience: Adult
Language: English