It Takes a Worried Woman: Essays


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.48 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

DEBRA MONROE is the author of The Source of Trouble, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is also the author of the short story collection A Wild, Cold State; two novels, Newfangled and Shambles; two memoirs, On the Outskirts of Normal and My Unsentimental Education (both Georgia); and the essay collection It Takes a Worried Woman (Georgia). She is the editor of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Austin, Texas, and teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University.


If humanity's defining feature is consciousness, then worry is its sidekick. Debra Monroe's It Takes a Worried Woman embraces this most human activity and rides with it across worlds: worry can be 'precaution, ' generator of 'outlandish solutions.' By turns funny, exhausted, sensual, outraged, always wise. Monroe describes her life as 'like a house you'd built yourself out of odds and ends, creaking and shaking and shuddering at every unexpected gust.' I give Monroe the great compliment of wanting to sit in this house with her, endlessly.--Susanne Paola Antonetta "author of The Terrible Unlikelihood of Our Being Here"

A collection of essays in the biggest sense--a gathering of pieces in conversation with one another. Monroe is generous, acute, nuanced, a writer with a complicated heart.

--David Ulin "author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles"
Debra Monroe sings a worried song with fierce, introspective honesty about sex and love, marriage, parenting, violence, acquaintance rape, hate crimes, the COVID pandemic, and worry itself, its value and its cost. These essays have the qualities that have made me a longtime fan of her fiction--scalpel-sharp prose that is poetic without calling undue attention to itself; vividly drawn scenes and characters; and the kind of intelligence that never loses contact with the heart and deserves to be called wisdom.--David Jauss "author of Glossolalia: New and Selected Stories"
I have admired Debra Monroe's voice for a long time--still, these essays are a revelation. That she manages to meld thoughts and images of motherhood, nature, and contemporary politics is impressive; that she does it all with such heart and soul is extraordinary.--Sara Nelson "best-selling author of So Many Books, So Little Time"
With her characteristic insight and wit, Debra Monroe's new essay collection tackles the big issues of what it means to be a woman in this time and place, and in the times and places that have brought her here. The combination of a life lived in ways sometimes difficult but always moving toward the better and the insight to be able to map that journey create a narrative arc through these individual pieces of a woman coming into her own. If it is clichéd, it is because it's also true, that the personal is political, and this collection exemplifies what an examined life can tell us about the larger world.--Sarah Einstein "author of Mot: A Memoir"
While each essay has its own focal point, each also builds on what came before, thus deepening the theme and content from beginning to end. . . .The beauty of the prose, the keen intellect behind the words, and the level of reflection all make this book a true stand-out.--Sue William Silverman "author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences"
An astonishingly refreshing collection of honest writing. Reading it is like spending time with a friend whose wisdom might be just the thing you need.--Camille T. Dungy "author of Guidebook to Relative Strangers"
It Takes a Worried Woman is wandering and wise, worldly and wry. Read this book wrought from wonder.--Tomás Q. Morín "author or Machete and Let Me Count the Ways"
Even deeply injurious events are integrated by the courage and intelligence of this writer.--Richard Hoffman "author of Half the House and Love & Fury"