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A literary and practical guide to writing memoirs of grief or loss. Braving the Fire is the first book to provide a road map for the journey of writing honestly about grief and loss. Created specifically by and for the writer who has experienced illness, loss, or the death of a loved one, Braving the Fire takes the writers' perspective in exploring the challenges and rewards for the writer who has chosen, with courage and candor, to be the memory keeper.
It will be useful to the memoirist just starting out, as well as those already in the throes of coming to terms with complicated emotions and the challenges of shaping a compelling, coherent true story.
Loosely organized around the familiar Kubler-Ross model of Five Stages of Grief, Braving the Fire uses these stages to help the reader and writer though the emotional and writing tasks before them, incorporating interviews and excerpts from other treasured writers who've done the same. Insightful contributions from Nick Flynn, Darin Strauss, Kathryn Rhett, Natasha Trethewey, and Neil White, among others, are skillfully bended with Handler's own approaches to facing grief a second time to be able to write about it. Each section also includes advice and wisdom from leading doctors and therapists about the physical experience of grieving. Handler is a compassionate guide who has braved the fire herself, and delivers practical and inspirational direction throughout.