‘An absolute stunner: frank, funny, self-aware, constantly surprising … One of the most insightful representations I’ve read of what it feels like to be alive these days’ GEORGE SAUNDERS
One day Heidi Julavits sees her son silhouetted by the sun and notices he is at the threshold of what she calls ‘the end times of childhood.’ Who is my son becoming, she asks herself – and what qualifies me to be his guide?
The next four years feel like uncharted waters. Rape allegations rock the university campus where Julavits teaches, unleashing questions of justice and accountability, education and prevention. Julavits begins to wonder how to prepare her son to be the best possible citizen of the world he’s about to enter. And what she must learn about herself to responsibly steer him.
Using the past and present as points of orientation, Directions to Myself examines the minutiae of family life alongside knottier questions of politics and gender. Through it all, Julavits discovers the beauty and the peril of telling stories as a way to locate ourselves and help others find us.
‘The product of an awe-inspiring mind … The writing is a miracle of precision and spirit, and Heidi Julavits is as darkly funny as John Cheever’ Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room
‘Honest, blazing, and generous, Directions to Myself manages to be an essay about everything by focusing intently on the basic human need of giving care to other people’ Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X