BOOKS & WORK
National Book Award finalist Kim Addonizio calls Alchemy, “a smart, exhilarating collection—a true literary conversation, filled with wit, heart, and insight.”
Maxine Hong Kingston, says:
“These authors’ thoughts are mystical and practical, political and inspiring and funny. I’ve found companions on this lonely journey.”
“Whether you’re a young beginner or a veteran writer like me, you’ll get support from reading Alchemy of the Word. These authors’ thoughts are mystical and practical, political and inspiring and funny. I’ve found companions on this lonely journey.”
—Maxine Hong Kingston,
National Book Award Winner and author of China Men, The Woman Warrior, and Tripmaster Monkey
I'm proud to be a co-editor and contributor to the new edition of Alchemy of the Word. If you are a writer, this book is for you!
Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk About Writing is a book like no other, from a writing program like no other. In this remarkable collection of essays, twenty-five acclaimed novelists, poets, playwrights, memoirists, cross-genre and nonfiction writers engage the reader in a virtual literary conversation, filled with passion, insight, wit, and warmth.
The Goddard MFA was the first low-residency program in creative writing; now there are around fifty operating in the United States. Program Director, Paul Selig says, “What greeted me at my first Goddard residency was the kind of community I had never dreamed possible… the faculty – well, they were teachers of the first order, and I found their dedication to shepherding a new generation of writers came from a place of deep generosity, wisdom and integrity.”
Alchemy of the Word introduces you to this faculty—not through their writing tips, tricks, and exercises, but through their experiences of themselves as professional writers living in the world, tackling issues they care about deeply and reporting back. To read this anthology is to travel to the wellsprings of literary inspiration, and to eavesdrop on a room full of mentors.
Words become us. Our lives become words. So begins the introduction to this powerful collection. The essays that follow are eclectic and range from the practical to the mystical, the humorous to the scientific, and the political to the personal. The book is broken down by topic into chapters (“Composing the Wilderness”, “Originality and Influence”, “Points of View”, “Literary Activism.”) which feature work by writers like Ryan Boudinot, Deborah Brevoort, Rebecca Brown, Bhanu Kapil, Michael Klein, Rachel Pollack, and Rahna Reiko Rizzuto. Throughout, each essay explores, exhorts, inspires, and exhilarates…illustrating in its own distinctive way the transformative power of language: alchemy of the word.
Whether you are a writer, a reader, or either a student or teacher of writing, Alchemy of the Word is bound to become an endlessly inspiring and entertaining addition to your library.
The ensuing journey leads over some of the highest mountain passes in the world and is by turns harrowing and heartbreaking, finally landing the rescuers in western China just weeks before the Communist takeover. As one cruel revelation follows another, these four are forced to lean ever more heavily on each other for solace and for courage. But will they be strong enough to endure the ultimate betrayal?
Flash House is a tale of passion and resilience in a world where nothing is as it appears.
Available in paperback.
Maibelle Chung's red hair and green eyes marked her as an outsider throughout her years growing up in New York's Chinatown. As a young woman she tried to flee and forget those early years, but recurrent nightmares force her to face the past that haunts her.
And when a childhood friend, Tommy Wah, invites her to photograph Chinatown for a book he is writing about the old neighborhood, she does not refuse.
Maibelle's confrontation with her own past forces her to investigate her parents' past, as well, and reveals a harrowing secret that demonstrates the power of memory, the high cost of forgetting, and the ultimate triumph of hope.
Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives: Guidance and Reflections on Recovery from Eating Disorders
An honest, comprehensive, and inspiring resource for those in recovery from an eating disorder.
All proceeds benefit the Academy for Eating Disorders Scholarship Fund.
My decision to write this book was triggered by a brief relapse of my anorexia during my separation from my husband when I was 47. Fortunately, I was in therapy at the time. Instead of developing a new eating disorder I developed a renewed interest in eating disorders. I realized that these disorders are intimately connected to anxiety, depression, perfectionism, and obsessive-compulsive behavior – all of which remained in my make-up, regardless of how much I was eating. Because I had recovered without therapy or treatment, I had, over the years, shifted my obsessiveness and compulsiveness into less dangerous forms of self-punishment, but I had not gained the necessary perspective and understanding to face the underlying causes of my eating disorder.
Most of the women I knew who had eating disorders when I did also recovered without treatment, and several of them had relapsed, as well. Yet most of these women were married, had children and professional careers. By all outward appearances, they had gained success. But I knew how deceiving appearances can be; most of us had been ace students, gone to top colleges, looked good and behaved beautifully – when we stopped eating or started purging. Were we truly recovered? Is it even possible to recover from the core anxieties that shape an eating disorder?
To answer these questions I began to interview my former classmates along with other recovered anorectics and bulimics – male and female from around the world. We compared notes, swapped stories, talked about the strategies, experiences, medications, or practices that had most helped us gain control over our illness, courage in our lives, and confidence in ourselves.
The stories in GAINING are life lessons hard earned.