JMU News

Meet the Author: Lucy Bryan

Thu, 29 Sep 2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM



Lucy Bryan will read from her memoir In Between Places, followed by a Q&A with the audience. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022
7:00 PM
Union/Taylor Hall 302, James Madison University

In her late twenties, writer and naturalist Lucy Bryan found herself in between places. Her marriage to her first love had crumbled. Her beloved father had died of cancer. Doubt had supplanted the faith that had guided her since childhood. Uprooted and adrift, she turned to the natural world in search of meaning, connection, and a renewed sense of self.

In this collection of essays, Bryan traverses familiar and far-flung wildernesses, from the soaring cliffs of Yosemite National Park to the bomb-pocked heath barrens of West Virginia’s Dolly Sods Wilderness to hidden ravines that shelter ancient ecosystems in the Florida panhandle. She also invites readers on a contemplative journey. Landscape, ecology, and human and natural history illuminate the questions that emerge as she heals, falls in love again, and welcomes her first child: Why isn’t our species better at letting go? Why (re)marry, when the institution of marriage fails so many? Why bring a child into this world, knowing destruction will be its inheritance?

Part travelogue, part memoir, these essays pair lyrical and intimate depictions of place with meditations on grief, acceptance, change, empowerment, and belonging.

Lucy Bryan is a writer, adventurer, mother, teacher, and lover of alpenglow, fungi, tiny streams, tall trees, native wildflowers, campfires, homegrown vegetables, thunderstorms, and tents. She splits her time between Ohio’s Appalachian Plateau and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where she teaches writing at James Madison University. Her award-winning essays have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and listed as ‘notable’ in Best American Essays. Her nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Earth Island JournalTerrain.orgThe Other JournalSuperstition ReviewQuarterly West, and The Fourth River, among others. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Penn State University. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking with her son, cooking with her husband, and napping with her cat. 
Sponsored by JMU English and JMU Creative Writing 

For questions, or more information, please email Angela M. Carter, Marketing Specialist: 

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