After selling her first novel—a dream she'd worked long and hard for—Stephanie Danler knew she should be happy. Instead, she found herself driven to face the difficult past she'd left behind a decade ago: a mother disabled by years of alcoholism, further handicapped by a tragic brain aneurysm; a father who abandoned the family when she was three, now a meth addict in and out of recovery. After years in New York City she's pulled home to Southern California by forces she doesn't totally understand, haunted by questions of legacy and trauma. Here, she works toward answers, uncovering hard truths about her parents and herself as she explores whether it's possible to change the course of her history. Lucid and honest, heart-breaking and full of hope, Stray is an examination of what we inherit and what we don't have to, of what we have to face in ourselves to move forward, and what it's like to let go of one's parents in order to find a peace—and family—of one's own.
Stephanie Danler is a novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter. Her memoir, Stray, is forthcoming from Knopf on May 5, 2020. She is the author of the international bestseller, Sweetbitter, and the creator and executive producer of the Sweetbitter series on Starz. Her work has appeared in the Sewanee Review, Vogue, The New York Times Book Review, and The Paris Review Daily. Her nonfiction received an Honorable Mention in Best American Essays 2018, and her criticism won the 2019 Robert B. Heilman award from the Sewanee Review. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
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