the wrong way

The Wrong Way to Save Your Life won Best Nonfiction Book of 2017 from The Chicago Review of Books. It means everything. I'm so proud to be a part of literature in this city. 

S. Makai Andrews wrote about me and the book for the Odyssey at Ithaca College.

I cried.

Megan taught me how to live, how to live hard, and how to feel everything as deeply as possible. Because that’s where the art comes from. That’s how you tell your stories.

Becca Schuh interviewed me for Electric Literature. This part is really important to me:

I think there’s a single story being told in this country right now about Chicago. I want to be able to contribute to what the city really is, and to give one of many other perspectives on it, and to be able to say, “this place made me, I am here because of its arts organizations and because of its schools and because of its writers and its performers and its young people, and I’m so proud to be counted among them.” I really want to do justice to this place in some kind of a way, if this book can be a little bit of a love letter to Chicago, that means something to me, especially now.

The way you know Chicago through literature is reading about 700 different people from all sorts of corners. I’m reading I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika Sánchez. And two other Chicago writers I love have books coming out this month, Jac Jemc and Lindsay Hunter. You hear so often the idea that Chicago is a flyover city. What people are missing by not stepping into our pages and our streets is something huge and kind of magic.

I spoke with Chicago Magazine.

For Stielstra, scrutinizing fear yields more than self-awareness—ideally, it leads to action. Significantly, she completed her book in the months before the 2016 presidential election, the results of which she describes as terrifying in their own right. “I can be pissed as hell right now about taking birth control away from women, about the Muslim ban, about all the things happening in our country,” she says, “but I’m interested in what happens to the fear when we start thinking more clearly about what we can actually do.”