Bryn Mawr Memoirs

The Mawrtyr Memoir Book Club spotlights and discusses the works of Bryn Mawr alumni authors. To sign up, go to https://pecsenye.ck.page/mawrtyrmemoirbookclub.

Smoke Week: Sept 11-21, 2001

Smoke Week: Sept 11-21, 2001
$15.00

by Ellis Avery '93

September 11, 2023 at 1 pm and 8:15 pm EST

Honorable Mention 2004 Eric Hoffer Award for Culture
ISBN/SKU: 
9781928589242
Publication Date: 
September 1, 2014
Author: 
Publisher: 

Never Simple: A Daughter's True Story of a Mother's Made-Up Life

Never Simple: A Daughter's True Story of a Mother's Made-Up Life
$18.99

by Liz Scheier '00 

December 5, 2023 at 1 pm at 8:15 pm EST

This gripping and darkly funny memoir "is a testament to the undeniable, indestructible love between a mother and a daughter" (Isaac Mizrahi).

Liz Scheier's mother was a news junkie, a hilarious storyteller, a fast-talking charmer you couldn't look away from, a single mother whose devotion crossed the line into obsession, and--when in the grips of the mental illness that plagued her--a masterful liar. On an otherwise uneventful afternoon when Scheier was eighteen, her mother sauntered into the room and dropped two bombshells. First, that she had been married for most of the previous two decades to a man Liz had never heard of and, second, that the man she had claimed was Liz's dead father was entirely fictional. She'd made him up--his name, the stories, everything.

Those big lies were the start, but not the end; it had taken dozens of smaller lies to support them, and by the time she was done she had built a fairy-tale, half-true life for the two of them. Judith Scheier's charm was more than matched by her eccentricity, and Liz had always known there was something wrong in their home. After all, other mothers didn't raise a child single-handedly with no visible source of income, or hide their children behind fake Social Security numbers, or host giant parties in a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment only to throw raging tantrums when the door closed behind the guests.

Now, decades later, armed with clues to her father's identity--and as her mother's worsening dementia reveals truths she never intended to share--Liz attempts to uncover the real answers to the mysteries underpinning her childhood. Trying to construct a "normal" life out of decidedly abnormal roots, she navigates her own circuitous path to adulthood: a bizarre breakup, an unexpected romance, and the birth of her son and daughter. Along the way, Liz wrestles with questions of what we owe our parents even when they fail us, and of how to share her mother's hilarity, limitless love, and creativity with children--without passing down the trauma of her mental illness. Never Simple is the story of enduring the legacy of a hard-to-love parent with compassion, humor, and, ultimately, self-preservation.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250871114
Publication Date: 
April 11, 2023
Author: 
Publisher: 

Necessary Trouble

Necessary Trouble
$27.00
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by Drew Gilpin Faust '68

April 30th at 1:00 pm

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A memoir of coming of age in a conservative Southern family in postwar America.

To grow up in the 1950s was to enter a world of polarized national alliances, nuclear threat, and destabilized social hierarchies. Two world wars and the depression that connected them had unleashed a torrent of expectations and dissatisfactions--not only in global affairs but in American society and Americans' lives.

A privileged white girl in conservative, segregated Virginia was expected to adopt a willful blindness to the inequities of race and the constraints of gender. For Drew Gilpin, the acceptance of both female subordination and racial hierarchy proved intolerable and galvanizing. Urged to become "well adjusted" and to fill the role of a poised young lady that her upbringing imposed, she found resistance was necessary for her survival. During the 1960s, through her love of learning and her active engagement in the civil rights, student, and antiwar movements, Drew forged a path of her own--one that would eventually lead her to become a historian of the very conflicts that were instrumental in shaping the world she grew up in.

Culminating in the upheavals of 1968, Necessary Trouble captures a time of rapid change and fierce reaction in one young woman's life, tracing the transformations and aftershocks that we continue to grapple with today.

Includes black-and-white images

ISBN/SKU: 
9780374601805
Publication Date: 
August 22, 2023