In summer 2016, I took Candy Schulman’s essay & memoir class at the New School and my entire creative life changed. Years of trauma were unearthed, processed and shared through my nonfiction writing, and it opened up a whole new world of expression and literary community. I’m incredibly proud of the work done so far through the New School and Candy’s writing workshop. This writing has grounded me after much heartbreak in early adulthood.
“Literature is an existential function, the search for lightness is a reaction to the weight of living.” -Italo Calvino
New York Times
“In the quiet that followed, I knew I loved her. Loving her wasn’t a choice or something I needed to say yet, but it became my one untouchable thing. As my body disappeared, I still had a person to care about. Unable to sing, speak normally, walk without help, look at a screen or read a book, I existed because I loved.”
Everything Underwater is a 62,000-word memoir that takes place mostly on the pediatric oncology unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. It’s told from my perspective as a 22-year-old woman in her first same-sex relationship. It follows the development and unraveling of that relationship in tandem with the trials and indignities of chemotherapy. I spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, my 23rd birthday and Valentine’s Day all on the pediatric unit, which feels infantilizing to a 22-year-old, yet holds the grown-up realities of mortality, disease and resilience impossible to find anywhere else.
Like Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan, this memoir is about a medical diagnosis that irrevocably changes the life course of a young woman. It also contains the depth of such memoirs as When Breath Becomes Air and The Bright Hour as the narrator contends with premature end-of-life questions and discoveries. Unlike any of these titles, it includes a Fault in Our Stars-like love story and coming-of-age theme.
A complete MS and Book Proposal are available upon request. For more info, please contact me.
Op-Ed, Paste Magazine:
“The idea that I could spend the rest of my life in a high-risk pool, isolated from the rates and choices other healthy people have because of a disease I did nothing to earn and worked hard to defeat, sounds more like punishment than justice. While watching Ryan, I have to ask: at what point does empathy supersede ego? If a conservative white male had signed the ACA into law in 2010, would there be such urgency to repeal it?”