Chautauqua Review: Memoir Excerpt
Poet Erin Belieu nominated me for the Chautauqua Review’s New Voice Spotlight, and they kindly published an excerpt of the memoir that has long since been rewritten. It was, at the time, part of my dissertation.
Still, Belieu had some tremendously kind things to say about my work:
“The terrible truth is, terrible things happen to people. Deeply personal, seemingly unspeakable things. We throw the word around too often in our culture for the sake of hyperbole, but there are people who walk amongst us carrying genuine, soul-shattering tragedies. How can a writer possibly write about such things? And even more so, how does a writer do this without the scene-shop scrim of fiction to veil their intimate reaction to such horror? How does a writer do this particularly in the form of memoir, which allows the writer no place to hide, affords no relieving illusion of distance to protect themselves and their reader? Lisa Nikolidakis answers this question for us, and she does so in prose that is beautifully transparent, disciplined, immediate, moving, and even occasionally black-humored. I can’t imagine what it felt like to hold this stick of dynamite, patiently working away while the fuse was lit in her hand. But she did it. And for that I am very grateful.”