Join us on Women & Children First’s Crowdcast Channel for a virtual event celebrating I Came All This Way to Meet You from New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg. For this event, Attenberg will be in conversation with Ada Limón.
In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Jami Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and the “poet laureate of difficult families” (Kirkus Reviews)—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it?
As the daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg was drawn to a life on the road. Frustrated by quotidian jobs and hungry for inspiration and fresh experiences, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually on travels around the globe. Through it all she grapples with questions of mortality, otherworldliness, and what we leave behind.
It is during these adventures that she begins to reflect on the experiences of her youth—the trauma, the challenges, the risks she has taken. Driving across America on self-funded book tours, sometimes crashing on couches when she was broke, she keeps writing: in researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, she grows as an artist and increasingly learns to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself.
Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.
Jami Attenberg has written about food, travel, books, relationships and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, Slate, and others. All This Could Be Yours was published in 2019 by HMH Books and Serpent’s Tail (UK), as well as in Italy, Germany, China, and Brazil. Her work has been published in a total of sixteen languages. Her debut collection of stories, Instant Love, was published in 2006, followed by the novels The Kept Man and The Melting Season. Her fourth book, The Middlesteins, was published in October 2012. It appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, and was published in ten countries in 2013. It was also a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. A fifth book, Saint Mazie, was published in 2015 and has been optioned by Fable Pictures. Her sixth book, All Grown Up, was published in 2017 and was a national bestseller, appearing on numerous year-end lists.
Ada Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Limón is also the host of the critically-acclaimed poetry podcast, The Slowdown.