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

Into the Wild

The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays Read 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


Hannah rated it ★★★★★

January 16, 2018

This book snuck up on me: I was enjoying it and then suddenly I was loving it. I am so very glad that this was the 100th book I finished this year. Megan Stielstra writes about a variety of topics: academia, feminism, her pregancy and marriage, her struggle with post-partum depression, the story o...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Ben rated it ★★★★★

January 22, 2018

A combustible, heartrending, beautiful mix of family, artmaking, teaching, triumph, tragedy, and being a woman today, yesterday, tomorrow. More -

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...

Leah rated it ★★★★★

January 19, 2018

I often think of Chicago as my third parent and this book made me sob with nostalgia. I lived in those neighborhoods. I went to that writing program. I have my own stories about it all. This book found me in the middle of a writing drought and by the time I finished reading the last page 3 days l...

Katie rated it ★★★★★

December 21, 2017

I didn't know I needed this book, but I really needed this book. You have to look at it to fix it, she writes over and over again, "it" being whatever amorphous, inarticulatable mass of fear and hope and grief and joy and rage happens taking up all the air inside you. Take it out, she says. Put it...

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