Updated: Dec 3, 2020
More than twenty years ago I was trying to write my first novel. I was very private and quiet about it, hiding the pages and my dream. Then I read Escaping Into The Open: The Art of Writing True by #elizabethberg. Then I took myself down to The @atlantahistorycenter Margaret Mitchell House to hear her speak. I went alone, still too timid to tell anyone what I was trying to do. I sat in the back row and at QA time I shot up my hand and asked a question. I don’t remember the question or the answer but I remember this.
She looked right at me with those kind eyes and said “Are you a writer?” I said “I am trying.” And she said “If you’re writing you’re a writer.”
And I loved her all the more. Now fifteen novels later I still do. And I can’t wait for y’all to meet her Wednesday night. Xo
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About Elizabeth Berg
I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on December 2, 1948, in a hospital that has been torn down, which I’m pretty steamed about. When I was three years old, my father reenlisted in the Army, and I spent my growing up years moving around a lot—twice, I went to three schools in a single academic year. You can understand my dilemma when people ask me where I’m from. My usual answer is “Um…..nowhere?”
I’ve loved books and reading from the time my mother began reading to me, and I’ve loved writing ever since I could hold a pencil. I submitted my first poem to American Girl magazine when I was nine years old. It was rejected, and it took twenty-five years before I submitted anything again. Then, I entered a contest in a magazine and won. I wrote for magazines for ten years, then moved into novels and haven’t stopped yet. I usually do a book a year. I've won a number of awards, which are listed elsewhere in the interest of false modesty.
Before I became a writer, I was a registered nurse for ten years, and that was my “school” for writing—taking care of patients taught me a lot about human nature, about hope and fear and love and loss and regret and triumph and especially about relationships--all things that I tend to focus on in my work. I worked as a waitress, which is also good training for a writer, and I sang in a rock band which was not good for anything except the money I made. I was a dramatic and dreamy child, given to living more inside my head than outside, something that persists up to today and makes me a terrible dining partner. I have two daughters and four grandchildren. I live with my partner Bill Young, and our excellent dogs, Gabigail Starletta Buttons, and Austin Ima Riot, and our cat, Gracie Louise Pawplay, near Chicago, even though what I really want to do is live on a hobby farm with lots of animals, including a chicken, I’m dying for a chicken. . The animals would like you to know they did not get to vote on their names. Or on the food they eat. Website
I'll Be Seeing You
On Sale Oct 27, 2020
The beloved New York Times bestselling author tells the poignant love story of caring for her parents in their final years in this beautifully written memoir.
“I’ll Be Seeing You moved me and broadened my understanding of the human condition.”—Wally Lamb, author of I Know This Much Is True
Elizabeth Berg’s father was an Army veteran who was a tough man in every way but one: He showed a great deal of love and tenderness to his wife. Berg describes her parents’ marriage as a romance that lasted for nearly seventy years; she grew up watching her father kiss her mother upon leaving home, and kiss her again the instant he came back. His idea of when he should spend time away from her was never.
But then Berg’s father developed Alzheimer’s disease, and her parents were forced to leave the home they loved and move into a facility that could offer them help. It was time for the couple’s children to offer, to the best of their abilities, practical advice, emotional support, and direction—to, in effect, parent the people who had for so long parented them. It was a hard transition, mitigated at least by flashes of humor and joy. The mix of emotions on everyone’s part could make every day feel like walking through a minefield. Then came redemption.
I’ll Be Seeing You charts the passage from the anguish of loss to the understanding that even in the most fractious times, love can heal, transform, and lead to graceful—and grateful—acceptance. Read More