Novel Concept Episode 9: Jessica Hendry Nelson

JHN+book+coverIt’s not always easy to write and publish books about your own life. In this episode of Novel Concept, host Rachel Carter speaks with author Jessica Hendry Nelson about her memoir, If Only You People Could Follow Directions. The book was published in 2014, received a starred review from Kirkus, was an Indies Next List Selection, and was a Finalist for the Vermont Book Award. It’s also an intimate look at Jessica’s childhood, including her father’s battle with addiction and ultimate death, her mother’s efforts to keep her family together, and her brother’s ongoing issues with heroin. Jessica turns an unflinching eye on her family and herself —something that can be difficult to do when writing memoir. Rachel and Jessica discuss what it’s like to publish such a personal story, how family can be affected by our writing, and whether that moral struggle between privacy and publishing is worth it in the end.

 

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