Memoir

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In his memoir, “The Weight of Shadows,” José Orduña chronicles the process of becoming a North American citizen in a post-9/11 United States. Intractable realities—rooted in the continuity of US imperialism to globalism—form the landscape of Orduña’s daily experience, where the geopolitical meets the quotidian.

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Our guest for the hour today is Ashley Wells, author of “The Cowgirl and the Racehorse,” a moving and intimate memoir on the relationship between a girl and her horses. Beginning with a traumatic horse-riding accident, Wells reflects on the personalities and characters of the many horses—both real and fictional—who have accompanied her through often difficult life experiences, teaching her strength, resilience, discipline, care, and trust.

USU Mountain West Center for Regional Studies

Today on Access Utah we revisit a conversation from last year with presenters at the Mountain West Center and Evans Biography Awards Writers Workshop for Auto/Biography.

Seattle Public Library

Today on Access Utah, Ginger Gaffney joins us to talk about her memoir “Half Broke," about an alternative prison ranch in New Mexico conducting a daring experiment: setting the troubled residents out to retrain an aggressive herd of horses.

Amazon

In his memoir, “The Weight of Shadows,” José Orduña chronicles the process of becoming a North American citizen in a post-9/11 United States. Intractable realities—rooted in the continuity of US imperialism to globalism—form the landscape of Orduña’s daily experience, where the geopolitical meets the quotidian. In one anecdote, he recalls how the only apartment his parents could rent was one that didn’t require signing a lease or running a credit check, where the floors were so crooked he once dropped an orange and watched it roll in six directions before settling in a corner.

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All her life, Emily felt different from other kids. Between therapist visits, sudden uncontrollable bursts of anger, and unexplained episodes of dizziness, things never felt right. For years, her only escape was through the stories she crafted. It wasn’t until a near-fatal accident when she was twelve years old that Emily and her family discovered the truth: a grapefruit-size brain tumor at the base of her skull.

Walter Link and Miriam Wollaeger, a young geologist couple in 1920s Wisconsin, set out to find oil to supply the surging U.S. demand. This exciting work will allow them to build their lives in South and Central America, Indonesia, and Cuba. But from the first posting in Columbia, they quickly discover that no women are working in the field in these places. While Walter faces the hardships and thrills of exploration in the jungles and mountains, and eventually becomes chief geologist for Standard Oil, Miriam is left behind in the colonial capitals during Walter’s often lengthy times away.

Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction

Jennifer Sinor is the author of Letters Like the Day: On Reading Georgia O'Keeffe, a collection of essays inspired by the letters of the American modernist Georgia O'Keeffe and Ordinary Trauma, a memoir of her military childhood told through linked flash nonfiction. She teaches creative writing at Utah State University where she is a professor of English. She is also the author of The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing: Annie Ray's Diary, a book about the diary of her great, great, great aunt, a woman who homesteaded the Dakotas in the late nineteenth century.

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Gregory Pardlo's father was a brilliant and charismatic man--a leading labor organizer who presided over a happy suburban family of four. But when he loses his job following the famous air traffic controllers' strike of 1981, he succumbs to addiction and exhausts the family's money on more and more ostentatious whims. In the face of this troubling model and disillusioned presence in the household, young Gregory rebels. Struggling to distinguish himself on his own terms, he hustles off to Marine Corps boot camp.

Having lost eight friends in ten years, Cooley retreats to a tiny medieval village in Italy with her husband. There, in a rural paradise where bumblebees nest in the ancient cemetery and stray cats curl up on her bed, she examines a question both easily evaded and unavoidable: mortality. How do we grieve? How do we go on drinking our morning coffee, loving our life partners, stumbling through a world of such confusing, exquisite beauty?