jordan.photoI teach narrative nonfiction to seniors at the University of Maryland and have written for The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, the Sun, and other publications. I live in the Washington DC area.

My book, Lucky That Way, will be published by The University of Missouri Press, Fall 2013.  The book is a nonfiction narrative memoir that highlights the aftermath of my father’s debilitating stroke and the triumphs and mishaps as he and his five adult children struggle — often humorously — to manage his life and find meaning. Lucky That Way won the American Society of Journalists and Authors 2014 Outstanding Book Prize (memoir category).

Below is a quote from a reader at the Missouri Press. (I hope I don’t get into trouble by posting this, but it’s all I have until the book, with actual blurbs, comes out).

“The story is at once very personal—we come to understand [the family’s] quirks and needs—and nearly universal, as many of us in the Baby Boom generation have been forced to deal with elderly, dying parents. The manuscript thoughtfully (though not ponderously) addresses a number of extremely important philosophical and ethical questions: What responsibilities do adult children bear for their elderly parents? What is a good death? What happens to sibling and other familial relationships in times of crisis? Beyond these questions, it also raises significant social and political issues about the paucity of adequate services for ill and elderly citizens…Above all, however, this is a story about love: not only [the author’s] undeniable and quite touching love for her sometimes difficult, sometimes charming father, but also his love for his family members. It will speak very strongly a wide range of readers.

The author vividly renders the events with many well-chosen details, and the manuscript displays a terrific eye and a nice ear for dialogue. These techniques, along with a good deal of lively humor, help to brighten what could be a depressing story… Written in a crisp, engaging style the story welcomes the reader and sustains an honest, intimate voice almost without fail.”