Kathryn Trueblood is the author of four books, including The Sperm Donor’s Daughter and Other Tales of Modern Family, and Diary of a Slut. Her work speaks candidly to the perils and absurdity of parenting in modern times. This interview traverses those dark and light places, while diving into craft elements along with Kathryn’s vision for a more supported future for women and families.
The following highlight is from a conversation with Kathryn Trueblood about her book, "Take Daily As Needed." To hear the full conversation, click the link above or subscribe to our podcast.
Sarah Aronson: How are you most alike your main character, Maeve?
Kathryn Trueblood: Maeve came to me because I was ill in 2007. I had been doing a lot in my life. I was newly divorced, raising two children, teaching full time at a university, and promoting a book. And guess what? I called it my overdue notice from God. I got very sick with Crohn’s disease. I was diagnosed and that was my second auto immune disease. So I really had to change my life.
When something like that happens it’s as though your instructions for living just got torn up. And you have to get a whole new set. And so I’m closer to Maeve than any protagonist I’ve written.
I always say that a writer’s work is emotionally biographical, so you might not be able to see any similarities in life story, but the similarities in life story are there for me.
I was looking for a book that would keep me company in this dark time. I find a lot of things absurd in this situation, there was a lot that I just thought was desperately funny and I couldn’t find a book that addressed that issue, so I thought, okay, I’m going to write this one.
About the Book:
Kathryn Trueblood exposes the raw nerves of family life in Take Daily as Needed: A Novel in Stories. Maeve Beaufort is caught squarely in the middle of the sandwich generation, those middle-aged adults caring for both their children and their aging parents. Facing the dissolution of her marriage and the prospect of moving her father into an assisted-living facility, Maeve struggles to carve out a space for herself and her goal of a paralegal degree. As she seeks treatment for her daughter’s severe allergic reactions, her son’s erratic behavior, and her own chronic illness, Maeve questions how she and her family members became so heavily medicated and whether she is making the right choices for her children. Take Daily as Needed presents the pressures and heartaches of caretaking alongside the absurdities of our fragile human bodies. These stories capture Maeve’s frustration, tenderness, fear, and resentment—but also the defiant dark humor that keeps her going.
About the Author:
Kathryn Trueblood is the author of The Baby Lottery and The Sperm Donor’s Daughter and Other Tales of Modern Family . A recipient of the Goldenberg Prize in Fiction and the Red Hen Press Short Story Award, she teaches at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.