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A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be
A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be
edited by Susan Cushman


 
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Macon, GA: Mercer University Press (pub: March 1, 2017)

Susan Cushman edited this collection of essays by twenty-one authors who are emerging from the chrysalis they built for their younger selves and transforming into the women they are meant to be. Contributors include Anne Lamott, Mary Karr, Cassandra King, Natasha Trethewey, Beth Ann Fennelly, Julie Cantrell, Jennifer Horne, Wendy Reed, River Jordan, Susan Marquez, NancyKay Sullivan Wessman, Jessica Handler, Kathy Rhodes, Kim Michele Richardson, Sally Palmer Thomason, Ellen Morris Prewitt, Emma French Connolly, Nina Gaby, Alexis Paige, Suzanne Henley, and Jennifer Bradner.

These women of all ages have made it over a wall to find their true selves. This transformation—this blooming—doesn’t happen organically, without the application of a tremendous amount of creative energy and action on our part. As E. E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

Anne Lamott writes about finding herself by rejecting her false selves. Mary Karr shares wisdom from her journey to sobriety. Cassandra King describes the death to her old self and her blooming in a new marriage and career. Jacksonians Susan Marquez and NancyKay Wessman write about second chances after caregiving for a daughter and the loss of a soul mate. Emma French Connolly (formerly of Jackson) leaves Memphis in her sixties to open Uptown Needle and CraftWorks in New Orleans. Wendy Reed explores themes of feminism, intimacy in marriage, and the power of “women of a certain age.”

Cushman has another book coming out early in 2017: Tangles and Plaques: A Mother and Daughter Face Alzheimer’s (eLectio Publishing, February 2017). She was co-director of the 2013 and 2010 Creative Nonfiction Conferences in Oxford, Mississippi, and director of the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop. Her novel, Cherry Bomb, will be published in October 2017.

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