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Author Joan Wickersham on Writing about Suicide

“My father killed himself in 1991, and when I got the news I thought, ‘Oh, no, that’s impossible. He would never do that.’ And at the same moment I thought, ‘Of course.’”

That’s Joan Wickersham describing her long and difficult struggle to write about her father’s suicide. In this exclusive video from the National Book Awards, Wickersham talks about her ten-year struggle to write about that family crisis. Her book, The Suicide Index: Putting My Fathers Death in Order, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

During that prestigious evening last week, GalleyCat also had video interviews with NBA Young People’s Literature winner Judy Blundell, Nonfiction winner Annette Gordon-Reed, Poetry winner Mark Doty, former finalist Joshua Ferris, and finally, Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell and finalist Salvatore Scibona discussed poor writers.

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