THE WRONG WAY TO SAVE YOUR LIFE

Megan Stielstra

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,

more …

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.

less …
  • Harper Perennial
  • Paperback
  • August 2017
  • 304 Pages
  • 9780062429209

Buy the Book

$15.99

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Megan Stielstra

Megan Stielstra is the author of Once I Was Cool and Everyone Remain Calm. Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays, the New York TimesChicago TribuneGuernicaBuzzFeedThe Rumpus, and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University.

Author Website

Praise

“Stielstra is a masterful essayist.”—Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

“Warm, funny and occasionally furious. . . Megan Stielstra maps essential questions about art and the self: questions about memory, assumption, love and fear. . . .Stielstra is an evangelist for story’s power to transform lives. . . . Her sentences hum with the humor and asides of oral storytelling.”Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“A star of the Chicago story-telling scene, Stielstra internalizes her engagement with the live audience and translates it to the page with a voice that is personal and candid, yet neither nostalgic nor self-referential.  In the four parts of this collection, each devoted to a decade of her life, Stielstra segues between quotidian concerns and harrowing ones, like what objects to grab as she and her son narrowly escape their burning apartment building.”National Book Review