R155. Mining the Gap: Trauma, Memory, and Reimagined Pasts

Room L100 D&E, Lower Level
Thursday, April 9, 2015
10:30 am to 11:45 am


The past is not fixed but subject to change. What haunts us may not be the past itself, but the unresolved secrets of our ancestors. Grief, trauma, and nostalgia can reshape our memories, erasing fragments or creating insistent, nonlinear repetitions. Five authors—of memoir, researched memoir, and narrative journalism—discuss their stylistic choices in portraying traumas and secrets handed down through families and cultures, the grief of others and themselves, and other distortions of memory.



Elizabeth Kadetsky's books include two works of fiction (a story collection and novella) and a memoir. She has been honored with a Fulbright fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, two Best American Short Stories notable citations, and publication in Best New American Voices. She is on faculty at Penn State University.


Elyssa East is the author of Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, winner of the 2010 PEN New England award in nonfiction. Her fiction appears in Cape Cod Noir, USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir, and other publications nationwide. She teaches at Columbia University.

Jessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing Through Grief and Loss, and Invisible Sisters: A Memoir. Her nonfiction has appeared widely, including Tin House, Brevity, Drunken Boat, and the Chattahoochee Review.

Denise Grollmus is a journalist and memoirist whose work has appeared in numerous publications including Salon, New York magazine, the Rumpus, Tablet, and Village Voice. She was a Fulbright scholar to Poland. Her memoir, The Value of Ruins, is represented by Inkwell.

Rebecca McClanahan’s tenth book is The Tribal Knot, a multi-generational memoir. Recipient of a Pushcart Prize and the Wood prize from Poetry, she teaches in the MFA programs of Pacific Lutheran University and Queens University, and she is the Spring 2015 writer in residence at Hollins University.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center