“Count your blessings,” his mother told him, “Think of everything good in your life.”
Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin has done it again. Building from his acclaimed first memoir, From Our House, which recounts the farming accident that cost his father both his hands, Gone the Hard Road is the story of Beulah Martin's endurance and sacrifice as a mother, and the gift of imagination she offered her son. Martin unfolds the world she created for him within their unsettled family life, from the first time she read to him in a doctor's office waiting room, to enrolling him in a children's book club, to the books she bought him in high school. Gone the Hard Road portrays Beulah's selflessness as the family moved around the Midwest, sometimes in the face of her husband's opposition, to show her son a different way of being. Rather than concentrate on the life his father threatened to destroy, as Martin's previous memoirs do, Gone the Hard Road offers the counternarrative of a loving mother and the creative life she made possible, in spite of the eventual cost to herself.
A poignant, honest, and moving read, Gone the Hard Road will stay with anyone who has ever struggled to find their place in the world.
Lee Martin is the author of many novels, including The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He is also author of Yours, Jean; The Mutual UFO Network; and Late One Night, among others. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such places as Harper's, Creative Nonfiction, and The Best American Essays. Winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, the 2006 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council, Martin teaches in the MFA Program at The Ohio State University, where he is a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor.
Jessica Handler is the author of The Magnetic Girl, an Indie Next selection, Wall Street Journal Spring 19 pick, Bitter Southerner Summer 19 pick, and SIBA Okra pick. She is the author of the nonfiction books Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, which was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta Magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” Jessica writes essays and nonfiction features that have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, The Bitter Southerner, Electric Literature, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. Jessica is a lecturer in English at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and lectures internationally on writing craft.
This virtual event is free and open to the public. Gone the Hard Road is available for purchase online at A Cappella Books.
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