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Saturday, October 28 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Memoir: Strange Journeys

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Life’s a journey for all of us, but these memoirists have found themselves on some very unusual travels indeed. Holly FitzGerald describes her honeymoon trip from hell in Ruthless River. After their plane crashed in Peru, the newlyweds saw no other option but to build a raft to ride the fast-moving Rio Madre de Dios to Brazil. They lived to tell the tale...but only barely. Leland Melvin’s first career involved catching passes as an NFL wide receiver, but he had loftier ambitions. He went on to serve as mission specialist on the space shuttle Atlantis and on the International Space Station. His journey to outer space is thrillingly described in Chasing Space. Andrew Forsthoefel, upon graduating from college, decided to walk across the United States as a “graduate program in the human experience.” Carrying little money and a sign reading Walking to Listen (also the title of his book), Andrew encountered incredible kindness from strangers. His walk served as a journey of discovery through the stories told to him by others and the radical acceptance that he receives and learns to give. Novelist Ayelet Waldman’s efforts to heal herself involve taking a different kind of trip. In A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, she describes using tiny doses of LSD in an effort to treat drastic mood swings after all other therapies fail. Her fascinating and at times hilarious memoir chronicles her journey down the rabbit hole of LSD use, as well as the history and mythology of the drug. These extraordinary memoirists will amaze you with their tales. Moderated by WBUR ARTery reporter Maria Garcia.


Moderators
avatar for Maria Garcia

Maria Garcia

Maria Garcia is a former political reporter and an arts journalist for The ARTery at WBUR. She started her career as an intern at KVIA-T ABC-7 in El Paso, Texas, which became her home for a decade. During that time, she was an anchor and public policy reporter, as well as an anchor for the... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Holly FitzGerald

Holly FitzGerald

Holly FitzGerald has spent her career in psychotherapy and social work, but all along she had a story to tell. In 1973 she and her husband, Fitz, took a backpacking journey around the world that went horribly wrong. Five months in, their plane crashed in Peru and they built a raft to continue their journey down the Madre de Dios River. Faced with lightning storms, starvation, and a river filled with piranhas and alligators, the two tested their endurance and their marriage in their fight for survival. Over forty years later, FitzGerald has now recounted that experience in her debut book, Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon's Relentless Madre de Dios, an... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Forsthoefel

Andrew Forsthoefel

In 2011, after graduating from Middlebury College, Andrew Forsthoefel didn’t know what his next step should be. So he left his mother’s house in Pennsylvania for an eleven-month walking tour of the continental United States to seek advice. Walking with a sign on his backpack reading... Read More →
avatar for Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin is known on the Internet for his official NASA photo featuring his beloved dogs Scout and Jake, but in his memoir, Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances, he shares the story of his own fascinating life. Melvin started his career as a football player, playing for the University of Richmond before he was drafted in the eleventh round of the NFL college draft by the Detroit Lions. Hamstring injuries ended his career prematurely, and in 1991 he earned his masters in materials science engineering from the University of Virginia. Melvin began his career with NASA in 1989 at the Langley Research Center. Melvin reported for astronaut training in 1998, and eventually logged 565 hours in space over two space missions in 2008 and 2009. He retired from NASA in 2014 and now advocates for gender equality and representation of minorities in STEAM fields. Chasing Space is published in both an adult and young readers... Read More →
avatar for Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman is an editor, lawyer, and the author of seven books. Her latest book, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, is about her struggle with mental health and the ways that LSD helped her heal. She is also the author of Love and Treasure (2014), Red Hook Road (2010), and Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace (2009), and the Mommy-Track Mystery series. She is the editor of Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons (2017) and of Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (2017). Waldman is a former Federal public defender... Read More →


Saturday October 28, 2017 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Emmanuel Parish Hall 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Attendees (134)