The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays by Megan Stielstra

Into the Wild

Read The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays Online Free - From an important new American writer comes this powerful collection of personal essays on fear, creativity, art, faith, academia, the Internet, and justice.

In this poignant and inciting collection of literary essays, Megan Stielstra tells stories to ward off fears both personal and universal as she grapples toward a better way to live. In her titular piece “The Wrong Way To Save Your Life,” she answers the question of what has value in our lives—a question no longer rhetorical when the apartment above her family’s goes up in flames. “Here is My Heart” sheds light on Megan’s close relationship with her father, whose continued insistence on climbing mountains despite a series of heart attacks leads the author to dissect deer hearts in a poetic attempt to interrogate her own feelings about mortality. 

Whether she's imagining the implications of open-carry laws on college campuses, recounting the story of going underwater on the mortgage of her first home, or revealing the unexpected pains and joys of marriage and motherhood, Stielstra's work informs, impels, enlightens, and embraces us all. The result is something beautiful—this story, her courage, and, potentially, our own.

Intellectually fierce and viscerally intimate, Megan Stielstra's voice is witty, wise, warm, and above all, achingly human.

“Stielstra is a masterful essayist.”—Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger


Title : The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062429205
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 pages


Rachel rated it ★★★★★

August 10, 2017

Oh man, this book. The five biggest stars for this brilliant essay collection that is so real, true, and important. It tackles so many issues: motherhood, education, prejudice and white privilege, gun control, happiness, fear, love, writing, the current political climate, etc. etc. Seriously, it's...

Carolyn rated it ★★★★★

August 10, 2017

I have a lot to say about this but I'll have to come back Monday or Tuesday to do it. ETA: I WASN'T EXPECTING A MEMOIR. OK, wait, let me backtrack a few... BACK, back back, back in the day when I first moved to Chicago, this cool organization 2nd Story put on a two-week festival in I think the spri...

Ellie rated it ★★★★★

November 12, 2017

Stielstra is a powerful story teller. I was drawn in by each of the essays. I was lucky enough to get this book on sale and had read the great reviews given to it on GR (which is why I bought it). Weather Stielstra is discussing post-partum depression, the great recession of 2008 or white privile...

Jason rated it ★★★★★

August 28, 2017

The title is a bit misleading because Stielstra's certainly helped me through a rough week. Maybe the book didn't save my life, but it could. I could see it. It's a light in the darkness. If everybody put a quarter of the passion, care, and empathy that bleeds out of every single sentence in this...

Olivia rated it ★★★★★

October 30, 2017

Wow, wow, wow. These essays are powerful in so many ways. Throughout so much of this collection I was choking back tears because, with such delicacy, Stielstra puts to words the frustrations and insecurities resulting from all of the unfair things that happen in life. Never before have I seen the...

Emily rated it ★★★★★

October 16, 2017

I was at a bookstore for an event and the friend I was with recommended buying this, so I did. Seeing Megan Stielstra speak at that event made me sure it was the right decision: she was talking about her favorite books and she was so full of love for the authors she knew and passion for words and...

Kay rated it ★☆☆☆☆

October 22, 2017

No, just No. Not for me.

Tom rated it ★★★★★

August 31, 2017

This is the best book I've read this year. I wasn't excited about a book of essays, but these aren't stodgy. They're fast and smart, moving, gut-wrenching, and funny as hell. Stielstra is a surgeon, and an artist--she opens her life and her heart to us, and does what the best art is supposed to d...

Elle rated it ★★★★★

October 31, 2017

Much like her other two books, this collection is brilliantly composed. By tackling everything from the difficulty of dissecting hearts to the intricacies of working through postpartum depression, Stielstra paints a picture of her life that is both electric and relatable. As I finished the book o...

Jennifer rated it ★★★★★

October 29, 2017

It seemed like every reading related site I follow was talking this collection of essays up, so I decided to check it out. When I first started reading, my thought were 'yeah, its good, but what made it so great?' and then by the end I wanted to meet Megan, hoping I'll run into her since we live i...

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