Melanie Brooks

Melanie Brooks is a freelance writer, college professor, and mother living in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, two children and yellow Lab. She’s the author of Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017). She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program. She teaches at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and Nashua Community College in New Hampshire. Her almost-completed memoir, A Complicated Grief, explores the lasting impact of living with the ten-year secret of her father’s HIV disease before his death in 1995. Her writing is the vehicle through which she’s learning to understand that impact. Some of her work has appeared in BustleThe Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, The Huffington Post, Lit Hub, Brevity Magazine, Hippocampus Magazine, and Solstice Literary Magazine.

 

Visit Melanie’s author site: https://www.melaniebrooks.com/ 

Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma 
Beacon Press, 2017

Five years ago, I began writing a painful family story that has now become a memoir, All the Things I Couldn’t Say.  Writing into the memories of this part of my life left me with some difficult questions: What does it take to write an honest memoir? And what happens to us when we embark on that journey? Would I survive the process?  I decided to approach the writers whose memoirs moved me and ask these questions. Their replies – honest and soul-searing – comprise Writing Hard Stories.  This book profiles my conversations with some of our country’s most prolific writers including: Alysia Abbott, Richard Blanco, Kate Bornstein, Edwidge Danticat, Mark Doty, Andre Dubus III, Jessica Handler, Richard Hoffman, Marianne Leone, Michael Patrick McDonald, Kyoko Mori, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Sue William Silverman, Kim Stafford, Abigail Thomas, Jerald Walker, Joan Wickersham, and Monica Wood. These writers invited me into their homes, into their lives, to share the intimacies of finding the courage to put words to their stories. Their candid descriptions of their own treks through the darkest of memories and the details of the breakthrough moments that opened up their stories gave me the mooring I needed to keep writing my own.

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