Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: She Writes Press (August 11, 2020) Language: English ISBN-10: 1631527215 ISBN-13: 978-1631527210
As a little girl, Teressa’s father dotes on her and little sister, Karen, while mercilessly mocking her older sister, Debbie. Teressa thinks its Debbie’s fault―until she gets a little older and he begins tormenting her, too. Soon enough, his verbal abuse turns physical. Her sergeant father brings his military life home, meeting each of his daughters’ infractions with extreme punishment for them all. Meanwhile, their mother watches silently, never defending her daughters and never subjected to physical abuse herself. Terrified to be at home and terrified to tell anyone, Teressa seeks solace in books, music, and the family she can find outside of her home: a best friend, a kind neighbor, and a doting grandfather. At first cowed by her father’s abuse and desperate to believe that maybe, one day, things will change, Teressa ultimately grows into a young woman who understands that if she wants a better life, she’ll have to build it for herself―so she does.
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Praise for The Sergeant’s Daughter
“Shelton hails from an extremely dysfunctional family, but, miraculously, she survives intact. People in seemingly hopeless situations may take solace.” ―Booklist
This book proved to be just as powerful of a read as I expected it to be. More so, actually, when I really think about it. I was initially drawn to this story because I instantly knew I would relate. While I did not grow up in a military family, or with a father who was willing to go to the extremes seen in this book, I was instantly able to relate back to some of the things in this story with growing up.
This story is definitely a tough one to get through. It deals with really difficult topics and lays it all on the table, forcing you to take a glimpse into what some people must go through. It’s a very stark and in your face kind of book and Shelton refuse to relent. She tells you everything just how it was and truly shows that some things never leave us.
This memoir is one of those, perhaps brutally, honest looks into the psyche of growing up in both an emotionally and physically abusive household. But there is a light at the tunnel, as Shelton proves with how successful she has become in life. While what happens between these pages may haunt you, Shelton is right there with you sharing and baring a piece of her soul. You will feel anger, horror, and many other emotions but this is the type of story that must be told.
About the Author
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Teressa Shelton has lived in nine states and three countries. After graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, she embarked on a career in managing medical practices. She lives with her family in Springfield, IL. The Sergeant’s Daughter is her first book.
When DJ Lee’s dear friend vanishes in the vast Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana, she travels there to seek answers. The journey unexpectedly brings to an end her fifteen-year quest to uncover the buried history of her family in this remote place. Although Lee doesn’t find all the answers, she comes away with a penetrating memoir that weaves her present-day story with past excursions into the region, wilderness history, and family secrets.
As she grapples with wild animal stand-offs, bush plane flights in dense fog, raging forest fires, and strange characters who have come to the wilderness to seek or hide, Lee learns how she can survive emotionally and how the wilderness survives as an ecosystem. Her growing knowledge of the life cycles of salmon and wolverine, the regenerative role of fire, and Nimíipuu land practices helps her find intimacy in this remote landscape.
Skillfully intertwining history, outdoor adventure, and mystery, Lee’s memoir is an engaging contribution to the growing body of literature on women and wilderness and a lyrical tribute to the spiritual connection between people and the natural world.
Part adventure story, part cautionary tale, DJ Lee’s quest weaves through memory and meaning like a broken trail. The ghosts she is searching for–her grandmother, her grandfather, her friend lost in the wilderness and never found–appear and disappear in moments of mystery. Like the archivist she is, Lee pins her investigations to historical and archeological facts, even as she revels in the lyrical otherworldliness of extreme isolation. Her narrative reads like a journal of longing and belonging, bravery and fear, clarity and insanity, celebration and lament. Always, what she offers is a map that we might follow: more than blood, it is a story that binds us–all that we have to make sense of our lives. –Kim Barnes, author of In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country
DJ Lee’s Remote offers profound and moving meditations on nature and narrative, frequently on the two phenomena together. –Scott Slovic, author of Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility
As DJ Lee and her remarkable family and friends circle and tussle around a remote ranger station over several generations, they will draw you into their mountains and mysteries as deeply as they did me. A book to remember. –Robert Michael Pyle, author of The Thunder Tree and Magdalena Mounta
It’s actually very rare for me to read memoirs, but when I do it’s usually something about the wilderness. There’s just something so soothing and relatable to them since I aspire to hike the Appalachian trail at some point in my life. But I just love being able to go into the wilderness through a book. But this is one of those stories that will truly draw you in and hook you.
Lee does such an amazing job setting the scenery. You truly feel as if you could look around and find yourself in the Bitterroots. And I now have a new place that I must see at some point! The formative undertones to this book revolve around her search for her friend Connie, who went missing even though she is a woman very much capable of navigating alone in the wilderness. Throughout the story there is a sense of mystery and an almost sort of mysticism of the beauty of the Bitterroots. And I think that anyone that spends any time in the wilderness knows what I mean by saying that it is magical.
All in all this is a beautiful story that takes you on a journey. You get an inside peek into the life of Lee and her pivotal moments. It has also fully re-instilled the backpacking urges that I’ve been dealing with all summer. So, grab this book, grab a blanket, and go outside and read this one!
About the Author
DJ LEE is Regents Professor of literature and creative writing at Washington State University. Her creative work includes over thirty award-winning non-fiction pieces in magazines and anthologies. She has published eight books on literature, history, and the environment, including The Land Speaks. Lee is director of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project and a scholar-fellow at the Black Earth Institute.
Many are haunted and obsessed by their own eventual deaths, but perhaps no one as much as Sue William Silverman. This thematically linked collection of essays charts Silverman’s attempt to confront her fears of that ultimate unknown. Her dread was fomented in part by a sexual assault, hidden for years, that led to an awareness that death and sex are in some ways inextricable, an everyday reality many women know too well.
Through gallows humor, vivid realism, and fantastical speculation, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences explores this fear of death and the author’s desire to survive it. From cruising New Jersey’s industry-blighted landscape in a gold Plymouth to visiting the emergency room for maladies both real and imagined to suffering the stifling strictness of an intractable piano teacher, Silverman guards her memories for the same reason she resurrects archaic words—to use as talismans to ward off the inevitable. Ultimately, Silverman knows there is no way to survive death physically. Still, through language, commemoration, and metaphor, she searches for a sliver of transcendent immortality.
Praise for How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences
“Silverman’s fourth memoir is really about coming to terms with physical death while seeking to create immortal work.” Evette Dionne, Bitch Media
“Silverman’s new book is a joyously unconventional memoir written at least in part as a hedge against mortality. It will shake loose memories, invite you to ponder, and, maybe best of all, make you laugh. This is a marvelously written, imaginative, and seriously funny book.” Abigail Thomas, New York Times best-selling author
“With true originality and wit, Silverman takes readers on a wild ride through time, memory, pleasure, and trauma. What remains isa deeply human portrait of one woman’s resilience and the power of her spirit.I couldn’t put it down.” Christina Haag, New York Times best selling author
“Self-aware, quirky, and fiercely intelligent…Silverman achieves a kind of immortality. Because of the distinctive subject matter and Silverman’s vast writing talents, the book will appeal to new and experienced readers alike. Read any random passage from any random page, and your ears will be delighted by a kaleidoscope of sound.” Hippocampus Magazine
“The book’s title may suggest this is a morbid book; yet, Silverman in her own clever way leans towards tongue-in-cheek, mixing pop culture, literature, and history with her stories and, of course, her unending quest to survive.” Brevitymag.com
Why is this book so relatable? I found myself both chuckling and mumbling “same” or “mood” throughout. I mean, who hasn’t googled some random medical symptoms and come to the conclusion that you are, in fact, dying. But also, I’ve always had a morbid sense of humor so I always find myself deflecting with my dark humor. And since this book had a similar sense of humor you know I was enjoying myself while reading.
I really enjoyed that this memoir was in the form of a handful of essays. I’ve always been a fan of anthologies of stories but it’s been a really long time since I’ve read one. I also think, given the subject matter, that the essays really worked in showing the progression of time and beliefs. Going from childhood through adulthood the essays show the progressions of Silverman’s interest to obsession with death. I also think that this is something that many of us have to deal with, facing death head-on as we get older.
Silverman writes with a sharp and clear style yet remains witty throughout, even given the rather morbid theme of the book. Which I think is perfect for right now, given our world climate at the moment. I mean, we all need a good laugh right now and what’s better to laugh at now than death?
About the Author
Sue William Silverman’s new book is “How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences.” Many are haunted and obsessed by their own eventual deaths, but perhaps no one as much as Sue. This thematically linked collection of essays charts Silverman’s attempt to confront her fears of that ultimate unknown. (University of Nebraska Press, American Lives Series).
Her previous memoir-in-essays is “The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew.” The book describes Sue’s search for authentic self-identity – a search complicated by her conflicted feelings toward Judaism and her various efforts to “pass” as Christian. At the heart of this journey are three separate encounters with 1960s pop-music icon,turned Christian provocateur, Pat Boone, who plays a pivotal role in her desire to belong to the dominant culture. It is published with the University of Nebraska Press as part of their American Lives Series, edited by Tobias Wolff.
An earlier memoir is “Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction” (W. W. Norton), which is also a Lifetime Television original movie. During the filming, Sue visited the set and made a cameo appearance in the movie!
As a professional speaker, Sue has appeared on such television programs as The View, Anderson Cooper-360, and CNN-Headline News. She teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sue believes we all have a story to tell, that all our voices are important, and encourages others to write their life narratives, too.
Her partner is the poet Marc Sheehan, and they have two cats, Bijou and Siobahn.