An Earlier Life: Essays by Brenda Miller, released April 2016.
How many lives can we inhabit in one lifetime? In her latest collection of innovative, shape-shifting essays, Brenda Miller evolves through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood to enter the wry maturity of middle age.
Whether traveling from synagogue to sweat lodge, from the Arizona desert to a communal hot springs in California, she navigates the expectations placed on young girls and women at every turn. She encounters guides both benevolent and dangerous in her three major religions (Judaism, Home Improvement, and the Grateful Dead), while gradually coming to the recognition and treatment of depression. Each stage demands its own form, its own story, sometimes as a means of survival: “No straight line between here and there, between past and future; instead, many small rifts open between where you stand now and where you are trying to go.”
“Delicate, elegant, and occasionally devastating, Brenda Miller’s essays are helping to set the standard for our generation.” —John D’Agata