In Person Reading & Discussion with S.L Wisenberg and Debra Monroe

Please join us in welcoming S. L. Wisenberg author of The Wondering Womb: Essays in Search of Home (Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction) and Debra Monroe author of It Takes A Worried Woman: Essays. They will be reading from and discussing their new collections.

This is an in-person event with masks required of all attendees. Please don't forget your mask!

Even as a fourth-generation Jewish Texan, S. L. Wisenberg has always felt the ghost of Europe dogging her steps, making her feel uneasy in her body and in the world. At age six, she's sure that she hears Nazis at her bedroom window and knows that after they take her away, she'll die without her asthma meds. In her late twenties, she infiltrates sorority rush at her alma mater, curious about whether she'll get a bid now. Later in life, she makes her first and only trip to the mikvah while healing from a breast biopsy (benign this time), prompting an exploration of misogyny, shame, and woman-fear in rabbinical tradition.

With wit, verve, blood, scars, and a solid dose of self-deprecation, Wisenberg wanders across the expanse of continents and combs through history books and family records in her search for home and meaning. Her travels take her from Selma, Alabama, where her Eastern European Jewish ancestors once settled, to Vienna, where she tours Freud's home and figures out what women really want, and she visits Auschwitz, which--disappointingly--leaves no emotional mark.

S.L. Wisenberg lives in Chicago, where she works as a writing coach and edits Another Chicago Magazine. Her fourth book, The Wandering Womb: Essays in Search of Home, won the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prize in creative nonfiction. Previous books: a story collection, The Sweetheart Is InHolocaust Girls: History, Memory, & Other Obsessions;, The Adventures of Cancer Bitch.

Debra Monroe has always written about the source of trouble, "that one incident you zero down to and everything bad that happens afterward happens because of it." The illusion that every problem has a clear-cut cause and discernible solution is apparently her gateway drug. It Takes a Worried Woman explores the outer limits of her faith that all past hardship could have been prevented and all future hardship might still be. Yet one person's trouble is often a small eddy in the outflow of history, and this book becomes a meditation on the price of effort exerted against fixed circumstances. Dense with history, lyrical, at times darkly funny, these essays explore sexism, racism, hate speech, violence, Monroe's grief about dwindling access to the natural world, and her fears as her daughter's adult life unfolds. Whether depicting the ubiquitous pressure to marry, the search for a shape-shifting familiar old enough to be her mother, or childcare as a game of risk, Monroe ta

Debra Monroe is the author of two story collections, The Source of Trouble and A Wild, Cold State; two novels, Newfangled and Shambles; two memoirs, On the Outskirts of Normal and My Unsentimental Education; and a new essay collection.  Her essays have appeared in many venues, including Longreads The New York TimesSalonThe American Scholar, and have been cited in Best American Essays.


Event date: 
Saturday, March 25, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
5501 North Lamar #A-105
Austin, TX 78751
The Wandering Womb: Essays in Search of Home (Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction) By S. L. Wisenberg Cover Image
Not available, maybe be backordered or out of print
ISBN: 9781625347350
Published: University of Massachusetts Press - March 31st, 2023

It Takes a Worried Woman: Essays By Debra Monroe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820363080
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Georgia Press - October 15th, 2022