Now I Can See the Moon: A Story of a Social Panic, False Memories, and a Life Cut Short


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.6 X 1.0 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Alice Tallmadge has been a reporter, writer, and editor since receiving her master's degree from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism in 1987. She was a correspondent for The Oregonian newspaper from 1999 to 2005, and a reporter and assistant editor for the Eugene Weekly in the 1990s. Her essays and stories have appeared in Portland Magazine, Forest Magazine, Oregon Humanities, the Register-Guard, Oregon Quarterly, and The New York Times. Her guidebook for juvenile sex offenders, Tell It Like It Is, was published by Safer Society Press in 1998. She was an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication from 2008 to 2014. She is currently a freelance editor.


"This book, visceral and urgently depicted, creates an intensive portrait of a family in the throes of misfortune and desperation....The author's crisis of conscience...forms the memoir's core as the powerful book also astutely addresses the issues of social panic and mental illness....potent and compassionate."
-Kirkus Reviews

"This wrenching story illuminates the dark days of 'recovered memory, ' issuing a warning that's all too relevant to 'fake news' in America today."
-Meredith Maran, author of My Lie: A True Story of Recovered Memory and The New Old Me

"Alice Tallmadge entwines memoir and literary journalism in this heart-rending account of her bright, talented, and deeply troubled niece, whose downward spiral in the 1980s was abetted by mass hysteria over so-called satanic ritual abuse of children. Tallmadge takes to task the shockingly credulous (or self-serving) doctors, therapists, academics, and popular authors who perpetuated that unfounded craze, and casts the same unsparing eye on herself as she struggles with grief and guilt and wins through, in the beautiful final pages, to a new, hard-earned dimension of being."
-John Daniel, author of Gifted and Rogue River Journal, 2011 Oregon Book Award recipient for literary nonfiction

"In Now I Can See the Moon, Alice Tallmadge tells the story of a beloved niece lost to suicide. She weaves together strands of family love, false memories, mental illness, faith, and our inability to speak in a haunting story about what we need to be whole and what we are willing to give those we love."
-Sallie Tisdale, author of Violation: Collected Essays

"Now I Can See the Moon is the first thoughtful account of a family caught in the vise of the ritual abuse panic that swept the country in the 1980s and early 1990s. Tallmadge takes us through a long, slow wringer of doom. It's the private doom of caring deeply for someone who's gravely mentally ill and wanting to help, yet suspecting that the accepted method of 'help' is making things much worse. It's the civic doom of slowly, painstakingly realizing that a country-wide hysteria engulfed one's own family-negating good sense, love, and even life itself. For every friend, family member and mental health professional who was sucked into the panic, Tallmadge's quiet, beautifully written memoir will be painful but necessary reading."
-Debbie Nathan, coauthor of Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt and author of Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case

"Alice Tallmadge's magnificent memoir is a story told with the intimacy of a family member, and the breathtakingly beautiful writing of a terrific journalist. It's a story of false memories that has afflicted so many families in the last half century. I commend Now I Can See the Moon for understanding the problem, and communicating it so superbly." -Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine; Past President, Association for Psychological Science; Author, Eyewitness Testimony

"What I admire most about Alice Tallmadge's memoir, Now I Can See The Moon, is its tenderness. The book has a necessary, hard edge, too, but Tallmadge does a masterful job of tempering the narrative's journalistic thread with tremendous love and compassion for her troubled niece and her parents/siblings. The honesty that shines through this difficult story-not just about Michelle and her family, but Tallmadge's own struggles to find her place in the world-brings the reader hope and peace. A reaffirmation of the ultimate power of love."
-Debra Gwartney, author of the memoir Live Through This