Wife Daughter Self: A Memoir in Essays

(Author) (Illustrator)
21,000+ Reviews
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Product Details
$16.00  $14.88
Forest Avenue Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
Beth Kephart is a National Book Award finalist, a Pew fellowship winner, an NEA grant winner, and the multi-genre author of more than thirty books that often appear on "best of" lists. She is an award-winning teacher at the University of Pennsylvania, co-founder of Juncture Workshops, and a widely published essayist and critic who has written extensively about memoir and traveled the country giving workshops. Essays have appeared in Ninth Letter, the New York Times, The Normal School, North American Review online, Salon, Catapult, Literary Hub, Creative Nonfiction, The Millions, Brevity, The Rumpus, and the Chicago Tribune. Her essay "Set Pearls in the Dark" is a Notable Essay of 2019 (Best American Essays 2020). Beth and her husband, artist William Sulit, collaborate on picture books, middle grade novels, Juncture Workshops, and a series of memoir workbooks and illustrated journals.
William Sulit is a Salvadoran-born, Yale-educated architect and visual artist. He has collaborated with his wife, Beth Kephart, on multiple book projects, including the middle-grade novels Wild Blues, Cloud Hopper, and Dr. Radway's Sarsparilla Resolvent; the memoir Ghosts in the Garden; the corporate fable, Zenobia: The Curious Book of Business; a series of memoir workbooks; and the picture book Trini's Big Leap. He is the co-founder, with Beth, of Juncture Workshops. Find him on Instagram at ws_studioarts.
"From the serenity of a kayaking-on-the-lake moment to fragmenting struggles with self-criticism, Kephart deftly and succinctly captures entire expanses of human experience."
- Booklist, Starred Review

"A profound meditation on how our most cherished-and most complicated-relationships shape who we are. Kephart's work is a masterclass in memoir."
-Megan Stielstra, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life

"Kephart's Wife Daughter Self passes the whole of a life through the prism of intimate relations and the result is revelatory: a memoir that assembles itself as we read, until all its parts are shimmering with meaning and that most sought, most elusive treasure is revealed: what it means to be human, and aware."
-Carolyn Forché, What You Have Heard Is True

"Wife Daughter Self is a riveting, atmospheric dream of a book. It's a big, complicated portrait of a woman inhabiting the major roles of her life. Sometimes we encounter Beth Kephart's 'tip-toe self, ' artfully and gracefully telling her story. Other times she's out there-bold, making noise, 'piercing the truth.' But she never settles for the easy answer. She's really just asking bone-deep, tough questions. Questions that turn everything back to her readers so that we can learn how to inhabit our own roles. This memoir is so revelatory, so affecting, that long after you turn the last page, you won't stop thinking about it."
-Judy Kurtz Goldman, author of Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap

"Rare and brave and beautifully written, Wife Daughter Self is a memoir to savor. Beth Kephart is a jeweler: her words glisten, the emotions shine. This story of marriage, daughterhood, and motherhood, is also the story of an artist-how a woman becomes a writer and how she enters into conversation with the world. This moving work will linger with readers long after the final page."
-Diana Abu-Jaber, author of The Language of Baklava

"She believes in acute, clear-eyed attention to the small moments. Her stories are bare, stripped down, whittled to their very essence, like one of her husband's dark, pragmatic vessels. To her father, she says, 'I am here. Are you there?' In each line of prose she poses the question to us and we answer, yes, we are. We are here."
-Jacinda Barrett, actress and writer

"Opening Beth Kephart's memoir feels akin to stepping into a river of striking clarity and song. With tenacious honesty, Wife Daughter Self explores the weight and shape of the ever-deepening bonds we form with those closest to us and how those bonds intertwine with our perceptions of our innermost selves. This book is a journey into a life dedicated to writing and art, one that honors both joy and pain, love and loss. Piercing, lyrical, and wondrously alive with detail, Kephart's sentences sing. I didn't want it to end."
-Chloe Honum, author of Then Winter

Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir

"A marvelous primer for anyone who would dare to face the furies and write about his or her life. Beth Kephart has read the genre closely, put her own feet to the fire, and distilled the form with all the passion of a great teacher."
-Marie Arana, author of American Chica

"A gorgeous meditation on memoir."
-Library Journal, starred review

"With infectious passion and hard-won wisdom, Beth Kephart eloquently celebrates the rigors and rewards of the creative process and-equally necessary-the art of crafting a meaningful life."
-Katrina Kenison, author of Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment

"A self-described 'memoir autodidact' and distinguished author's refreshingly idiosyncratic guide to the art of creative nonfiction."
-Kirkus, starred review

"Intense, provocative, endearing, and kind,