The Most Anticipated Memoirs of 2020, She Reads • Bay Area Authors to Read This Summer, 7X7
A literary memoir of one woman's journey from wife to warrior, in the vein of breakout hits like Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle.
At thirty-six years old, Caitlin Myer is ready to start a family with her husband. She has left behind the restrictive confines of her Mormon upbringing and early sexual trauma and believes she is now living her happily ever after . . . when her body betrays her. In a single week, she suffers the twin losses of a hysterectomy and the death of her mother, and she is jolted into a terrible awakening that forces her to reckon with her past—and future.
This is the story of one woman’s lifelong combat with a culture—her “escape” from religion at age twenty, only to find herself similarly entrapped in the gender conventions of the secular culture at large, conventions that teach girls and women to shape themselves to please men, to become good wives and mothers. The biblical characters Yael and Judith, wives who became assassins, become her totems as she evolves from wifely submission to warrior independence.
An electric debut that loudly redefines our notions of womanhood, Wiving grapples with the intersections of religion and sex, trauma and love, sickness and mental illness, and a woman’s harrowing enlightenment. Building on the literary tradition of difficult women who struggle to be heard, Wiving introduces an urgent, striking voice to the scene of contemporary women’s writing at a time when we must explode old myths and build new stories in their place.
Caitlin Myer is the daughter of a poet and a visual artist, and she grew up in a large, chaotic Mormon family in Provo, Utah. Her short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in No Tokens, Electric Literature, The Butter, Cultural Weekly, and Joyland, among others, and she was a 2012 MacDowell Colony Fellow. In 2010, Myer founded the San Francisco–based literary reading series, Portuguese Artists Colony (PAC), which has extended its reach beyond the US to performances in Portugal. For seven years she traveled the world, and she has recently settled in Guimarães, Portugal.
Publication Date: 07/28/2020 - 12:00am
On Sale: 07/28/2020 - 12:00am