This is How We Leave (Paperback)
Vine Leaves Press, 9781925965360, 180pp.
Publication Date: August 11, 2020
We all run from something, but do we have to leave?
Against a background of family runaways, award-winning memoirist Joanne Nelson explores what it takes to stay when the going begins to dazzle and the staying seems way too ordinary. With a great grandfather who disappears, a grandfather who strays, and a father who walks away, she's lived a life liable to give way at any time. In unflinching prose that is by turns intimate and humorous, she dives deep into her own role (and even culpability) in a childhood marked by disruption, emotional abuse, and parental alcoholism.
Nelson's working-class roots and catholic school girl upbringing, experimentation with all things negative, and hopeful creation of a new family life all serve a passionate story that examines the many ways we leave our communities, our families, and even ourselves. It will surprise no one that she became a psychotherapist--working with families, children, and in schools to help others on a similar journey. Her innovative observations and careful attention to detail create an engaging narrative of just how quickly our pasts become the now--and just what we're going to do about it