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I talk with the teacher-turned-writer Kitty Sheehan, and the essay that took her 40 years to write, describing what happened to her and her family on a single day in 1978. Kitty's piece went viral after it was published, and our conversation captures the story's appeal: its emotional rawness, its humor, and its hope, for Kitty and anyone who aspires to have their voice recognized by the world.

 

Kitty details in the episode why it took her 30 years to trust herself as a writer. In any case, she's busy these days. As her website notes:

 

"Kitty’s essays appear in the anthology My Body, My Words, edited by Loren Kleinman and Amye Archer, (Big Table Publishing, 2018), and the anthology Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue, edited by Amy Ferris, (Seal Press, 2015).

Kitty produced and directed a reader’s theater event, Man-pleasing Recipes! in November 2018, and will present it again in winter 2020."

She also talks about that theater event here

 

For our conversation, Kitty mentions how her years editing improved her writing. Perhaps as a result she's a fan of lean prose, like Elmore Leonard's

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