Building a Narrative Labyrinth w. SUMMER BRENNAN

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Summer Brennan

Summer Brennan’s latest book, High Heel (buy from IndieBound), is out now from Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. Summer is a journalist and author. She received the 2016 Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award and was a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. A longtime consultant for the United Nations, her writing has appeared in New York MagazineScientific AmericanMcSweeney's, the San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. Her first book, The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness in America was a finalist for the 2016 Orion Book Award.

Discussed In This Episode

Sexism in fairy tales. Leaning into the fragmentation of the material and building a narrative labyrinth. Distilling ideas. Pitching a nonfiction book. Eva Hagberg Fisher. “The logical conclusions in these things are not logical.” What is a woman? How to organize your research (and confuse TSA agents). Keeping a reading journal (or a “commonplace book”). Victim blaming. Women’s pain, and the ways society ignores it. Concern trolling. “So much of beauty practices over time make women weaker and easier to dominate.” The writing machine in your mind. Make yourself write a crappy rough draft, then convince yourself someone else wrote it. “I’m often surprised how much I can keep, honestly.” Accepting your process.

This episode is sponsored by Creative Nonfiction.

Bonus Segment: Crowd-Funding

Summer talks about raising more than $50,000 for her next book and what goes into a successful crowd-funding campaign.

Bonus segments are a Patreon exclusive and cost just $2 a month. Join Patreon here.

Further Reading

Helen Oyeyemi
Bluets, Maggie Nelson
Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés
How to Be Loved, Eva Hagberg Fisher

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