Author Debra Gwartney will be reading and discussing her memoir “Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love” for the annual School of Journalism and Communication’s (SOJC) PageTurners workshop. The reading, which is free and open to the public, will take place May 7, 5-6 p.m. at the Eugene Downtown Public Library.
Led by Professor and James Wallace Chair in Journalism Peter Laufer, this workshop is a two-credit SOJC class that engages students in the close reading of a book focusing on diversity and culture. Enrolled students meet three times with Laufer to discuss the book before attending a final master class taught by the author. The workshop culminates in the public reading and an invitation-only dinner for Gwartney, Laufer and workshop students.
“This book is an example of extraordinary intimate news reporting. The story is in our backyard. It will help students to understand a subculture in our midst and also help them learn how to report news that affects them personally,” said Laufer, who has hosted the PageTurners workshop since 2006.
“Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir” is about the difficult emotional journey Gwartney experienced with her daughters after her divorce.
“I’ve been teaching this kind of writing for nearly 20 years, and I’ve witnessed, again and again, the potency of story,” Gwartney said. “If a writer is willing to dig in and discover a narrative that expresses what it means to live in this time, in this place, then I believe we’ll all be better for those narratives. My intention is to talk about how to get there.”
“Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love” has been named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book for a Better Life Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award.
Students interested in enrolling in the class, which runs from April 15 through May 13, should email Laufer. Members of the community who wish to view the reading are welcome to attend the May 7 event free of charge.
Story by Nikki Kesaris ’18