I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home by Jami Attenberg
This an especially good read for a writer. It is an inspiring story of perseverance from an author I admire. The opportunity to glimpse into her life and professional ups and downs was a treat. I have participated in Jami’s #1000wordsofsummer so it was no surprise to learn that her writing life is one where she doesn’t make excuses, she just writes. It is a testament that one doesn’t have to have a huge trauma or dramatic event in their life in order to warrant a memoir. This compilation of essays is beautiful with Jami transforming from one who led a nomadic life, crashing on people’s couches and in their guest rooms, to a home owning woman in New Orleans who is able to host friends overnight and feed them. One measure of success.
About I Came All This Way to Meet You:
From New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg comes a dazzling memoir about unlocking and embracing her creativity—and how it saved her life.
In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Jami Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and the “poet laureate of difficult families” (Kirkus Reviews)—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it?
As the daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg was drawn to a life on the road. Frustrated by quotidian jobs and hungry for inspiration and fresh experiences, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually on travels around the globe. Through it all she grapples with questions of mortality, otherworldliness, and what we leave behind.
It is during these adventures that she begins to reflect on the experiences of her youth—the trauma, the challenges, the risks she has taken. Driving across America on self-funded book tours, sometimes crashing on couches when she was broke, she keeps writing: in researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, she grows as an artist and increasingly learns to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself.
Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.
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