Zoom event with Gina Troisi and Melanie Brooks as they discuss Troisi’s debut memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light.
Desperate to find respite from her father's verbal abuse, his various affairs, and her step-mother's psychological torment, Gina spent hours doing Jane Fonda's workouts, smoked cigarettes instead of eating food, and became obsessed with her thinness... with the notion of fading away. She found solace in restlessness-drinking hallucinogenic mushroom tea and inhaling crushed pills and powders-perching herself on the periphery of danger again and again.
Gina soon glimpsed a better life for herself when her grandfather, a man who was a surrogate father to her, became terminally ill. She soon fell in love with John, a stranger who was utterly familiar, but who was addicted to heroin. She moved from New Hampshire to California, crossing the country in an attempt to alleviate her self-destructive tendencies, but found herself pulled back to New Hampshire, to John, a man with whom, despite his struggle, she could not deny the sense of home she felt.
What would it cost for a girl to run wildly and recklessly into womanhood, making instant, temporary homes?
Gina’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. She has taught numerous classes and
workshops in both traditional and nontraditional settings, including writing workshops for female adult survivors of sexual assault. She lives in coastal
Writing Hard Stories is a unique compilation of authentic stories about the death of a partner, parent, or child; about violence and shunning; and about the process of writing. It will serve as a tool for teachers of writing and give readers an intimate look into the lives of the authors they love.
Some of the country’s most admired authors—including Andre Dubus III, Mark Doty, Marianne Leone, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Richard Blanco, Abigail Thomas, Kate Bornstein, Jerald Walker, and Kyoko Mori—describe their treks through dark memories and breakthrough moments and attest to the healing power of putting words to experience.
Melanie Brooks is a writer, teacher, and mother living in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, two children, and yellow Lab. She received her master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA program. She teaches college writing at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts. She also teaches creative writing at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Hippocampus, the Huffington Post, Modern Loss, Solstice Literary Magazine, the Recollectors, the Stonecoast Review and Word Riot. She received the Michael Steinberg Prize for Creative Nonfiction in Solstice Literary Magazine's annual contest. Her almost-completed memoir explores the devastating 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 starting to understand that impact.