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Livestream Reading: Donna Ward & Jackie Shannon Hollis
Annie Bloom's welcomes Australian author Donna Ward for the US livestream launch of her memoir, She I Dare Not Name: A Spinster's Meditations on Life. She will be joined by Portland author Jackie Shannon Hollis, whose memoir is This Particular Happiness: A Childless Love Story. They will discuss childlessness, writing, and "spinsterhood."
About She I Dare Not Name:
Astonishing. Luminous. A book about being human. She I Dare Not Name is a compelling collection of fiercely intelligent, deeply intimate, lyrical reflections on the life of a woman who stands on the threshold between two millennia. Both manifesto and confession, this moving memoir explores the meaning and purpose Donna Ward discovered in a life lived entirely without a partner and children. The book describes what it is like to live on the edge of a world built in the shape of couples and families. Rippling through these pages is the way a spinster—or a bachelor, or any of us for that matter—contends with the prejudice and stigma of being different. With courage and astounding honesty Donna uncovers the challenge of living with more solitude than anticipated and what it is like to walk the road through midlife and beyond alone. And she reveals how she found home and discovered herself within it. Funny, sharp, wise and wry, She I Dare Not Name shows how reading saved this spinster's life, and how friends and writing and walking brought a contentment and sense of achievement she never thought possible.
About Donna Ward:
Donna Ward established the micro-press Inkerman & Blunt, and indigo: journal of Western Australian creative writing. She has past lives as a psychotherapist and a social worker in welfare management and social policy development. These days she considers herself a writer and tinkers around helping out at Alice's Bookshop, a hive of antiquarian and second hand books. Her prose has appeared nationally and internationally, including in the Griffith Review, Fish Anthology (Ireland), Huffington Post, and she is a contributor to the online newspaper The New Daily.
About This Particular Happiness:
Knowing where your scars come from doesn't make them go away. When Jackie Shannon Hollis marries Bill, a man who does not want children, she joyfully commits to a childless life. But soon after the wedding, she returns to the family ranch in rural Oregon and holds her newborn niece. Jackie falls deep into baby love and longing and begins to question her decision. As she navigates the overlapping roles of wife, daughter, aunt, sister, survivor, counselor, and friend, she explores what it really means to choose a different path. This Particular Happiness delves into the messy and beautiful territory of what we keep and what we abandon to make the space for love.
About Jackie Shannon Hollis:
A lifelong Oregonian, Jackie Shannon Hollis resides with her husband in a home her friends call the tree house. Her education and work as a counselor pushed her to hold up the mirror to her own self. In addition to thinking she would be a mother, she once dreamed of being a June Taylor dancer or a racecar driver.