In author Jami Attenberg's first foray in memoir and nonfiction, she reflects on her nomadic life in pursuit of her art. Years of crashing on couches, funding her own book tours, and taking odd jobs while doggedly persisisting in her writing were largely satisfying. But as a single woman moving through life in a non-traditional way, she often faced criticisms and questions from those who chose a more traditional path--forcing her to grapple with whether her own was valid.
Whether you chose a nomadic life or not, Attenberg's journey is relatable: at some point, all of us must face what we do and don't want in life, and decide on the big and small things that are important to us--and those things may be different at every stage. Her growing comfort with her own wants and needs is satisfying and insightful.
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In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Jami Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and the “poet laureate of difficult families” (Kirkus Reviews)—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it? As the daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg was drawn to a life on the road. Frustrated by quotidian jobs and hungry for inspiration and fresh experiences, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually on travels around the globe. Through it all she grapples with questions of mortality, otherworldliness, and what we leave behind. It is during these adventures that she begins to reflect on the experiences of her youth—the trauma, the challenges, the risks she has taken. Driving across America on self-funded book tours, sometimes crashing on couches when she was broke, she keeps writing: in researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, she grows as an artist and increasingly learns to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself. Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.