In Promise Me, Nancy G. Brinker shares an inspiring story of the promise she made to her dying sister Susie, thirty years ago, and how that promise turned into a life-long mission to change the way the world thought about, spoke about, and treated breast cancer.
Recently I was interviewed for the Big Orange Slide, an online magazine for and by folks in the ad world. The interviewer, after reading my novel, asked me, “Could you mercy kill a dying animal like your novel’s protagonists do?” This was an interesting question. It actually got me thinking about bravado. But not the swagger and heft of male courage—that defining quality (or lack thereof) that marks a man from cradle to grave. Instead my thoughts turned to the infinitely more interesting female bravado.
My first job post grad school was working as a research associate for Prevention magazine. I had some great mentors there—people who understood the value of digging deep to unearth valuable gems that you might use to enrich a story. The lessons stuck with me and became important as I wrote The Last Will of Moira Leahy.
I told a friend the tragic story of my parents’ lives, how their once beloved backpacker lodge was now a brothel, how my Mom was reduced to cooking meals on a portable gas cooker, that my Dad was cultivating a marijuana crop to earn a little money. Tears were rolling down her face. But she wasn’t crying, she was laughing. She said something like, “I’m really sorry but what you just told me is actually quite funny.” I realized then that I had to look at it in a completely different way.
“I picked up [The World Is Bigger Now] two days ago and finished it today as it was just a gripping story that would not let me go. This is not a hard-bitten journalist writing of her days in captivity; this is a memoir of a woman who survived what was the worst time of her life and showed the very nature of humankind in her writings, her fears, her worries, her prayers and love for her family….”
Join activists, organizations, and celebrities to fight human rights crimes in Africa. Learn how a high school student in Chicago rallied fellow students all over his city to raise awareness of genocide… a former child soldier in Uganda formed a group of others like him to aid in reconciliation… and a mother and teacher gang-raped by soldiers in Congo found strength to help other survivors. John and Don present ways for you to form alliances, contact Congress, alert the media, enlist corporations, and use social media to become part of the solution.
Nothing Happens Until It Happens to You is a weird, wonderful journey of self-discovery that proves there’s life after the pink slip after all. With his job search going nowhere amid the wreckage of the American economy, Jeffrey has no choice but to push beyond his comfort zone. He takes on a string of ridiculous odd jobs for a guy known as “enterprising dude” that include dressing up as the Statue of Liberty and breeding fish in a tub of mud. But as Jeffrey stumbles from one comic catastrophe to another, he realizes that in opening up to the world, he no longer wants to go back to his safe, sheltered corner.
The celebrated opera singer Lo Svizzero was born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps where his mother served as the keeper of the loudest and most beautiful bells in the land. Shaped by the bells’ glorious music, as a boy he possessed an extraordinary gift for sound. But when his preternatural hearing was discovered—along with its power to expose the sins of the church—young Moses Froben was cast out of his village with only his ears to guide him in a world fraught with danger. Like the voice of Lo Svizzero, The Bells is a sublime debut novel that rings with passion, courage, and beauty.