MTPR

memoir

In 2015, Stephanie wrote an impassioned viral essay in Vox, which detailed her life as a domestic worker, a field largely dominated by women working as housecleaners, nannies, and in elder care, jobs that often deny basic labor rights like minimum wage, overtime, sick and vacation pay. Emotionally raw yet heartwarming, MAID gives voice to the working poor, and is fueled by Stephanie’s courage to expose the reality of pursuing the American dream from below the poverty line.

A Family History of Illness is a gritty historical memoir that examines the body's immune system and microbial composition as well as the biological and cultural origins of memory and history, offering a startling, fresh way to view the role of history in understanding our physical selves. In his own search, Walker soon realizes that this broader scope is more valuable than a strictly medical family history. He finds that family legacies shape us both physically and symbolically, forming the root of our identity and values, and he urges us to renew our interest in the past or risk misunderstanding ourselves and the world around us.

From a lineage of secondhand family cars of the late ’60s, to the Honda that carried her from Montana to Texas as her new marriage disintegrated, to the ’70s Ford she drove away from her brother’s house after he took his life (leaving Melissa the truck, a dog, and a few mix tapes), to the VW van she now uses to take her kids camping, she knows these cars better than she knows some of the people closest to her. Driven away from grief, and toward hope, Melissa reckons with what it means to lose a beloved sibling.

Driven will be released July 24th. Pre-order it here or from the retailer of your choice.

In The Trail to Tincup: Love Stories at Life’s End, a psychologist reckons with the loss of four family members within a span of two years. Hocker works backward into the lives of these people and forward into the values, perspective, and qualities they bestowed before and after leaving. Following the trail to their common gravesite in Tincup, Colorado, she remembers and recounts decisive stories and delves into artifacts, journals, and her own dreams. In the process the grip of grief begins to lessen, death braids its way into life, and life informs the losses with abiding connections. Gradually, she begins to find herself capable of imagining life without her sister and best friend. Toward the end of the book Hocker’s own near-death experience illuminates how familiarity with her individual mortality helps her live with joy, confidence, and openness.

"I met Scorchy in the summer of 1965 when I was 12 years old.  I was the new kid in a small town in south central Montana.  I was also pretty much a wimp and socially awkward.  Try as I might to fit in with the other boys, I lacked two of the most important attributes necessary for success in rural life, the first being that I wasn’t-as I was constantly reminded by the locals-“from around here,” and second, I wasn’t any good at sports.  Up to that time I had lived a very sheltered life as the son of a naval officer.  While that led to seeing a lot of the world in a few short years, it hadn’t helped me develop much in the way of social skills or athletic prowess.  Like Scorchy later said to me, “You’ve lived around, but you haven’t lived.” -- Cyrus Lee

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