Emily Rapp Black is an author and creative writing professor who is making waves helping women to grapple with grief and find their own words. One of her latest books, Sanctuary, is her own memoir diving into her journey of loss and finding her resilience. So what does resilience mean to you?
When she was initially going through the loss of her son, people kept commenting on how resilient and strong she was, but that felt off. Resilience is not the same thing as strength. You don’t have to find it, you already have it.
Instead of thinking of resilience as something that you have to cultivate and nurture, think of it as something that you need to find within yourself. Also, know that ours is not a culture built to understand and strengthen resilience. Especially for women.
Listen as we chat about her book, her thoughts on resilience, and why she’s so passionate about teaching others. That passion comes through every single time she mentions her students and the women in her grief group.
Emily is also the author of Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg, a memoir of how the famous artist, an amputee, allowed Emily, who lost her left leg at the age of six, to come to terms with her own amputation. Emily will discuss, with clear-eyed honesty, her personal journey to self-acceptance. This New York Times best-selling author sheds light on the embrace of a non-normative body; how perfection can come in many different ways; and the joys in accepting oneself as one is in this era of unremitting pursuit of physical perfection.
“Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg” has been praised by Matthew Zapruder, author of Why Poetry and Father’s Day as “a wild masterpiece. It is about everything that matters: mortality, motherhood, desire, love, the body, art, writing, survival. Remarkably, the author is able to express the chaos of grief and anger without ever losing control.”
Katie Ford, author and poet of If You Have To Go and Blood Lyrics, said of the memoir, “With endless intellect and intimacy, Emily Rapp Black brings us a book without parallel, a book that will become well-worn by readers who have passed it on, saying, here, you have to read this.
You can order the book here.
Stay tuned for another interview with Emily soon when we chat again about her brilliant work!
- [02:28] Welcome Emily Rapp Black to the show and hear a bit about her journey toward authorship.
- [04:25] Learn more about Emily’s story and why she wrote her most recent book.
- [05:38] How do you tap into your resilience?
- [07:37] Does society and culture help us to adapt, shift and change?
- [09:49] Is her story with grief and loss a part of the book in how she found her resilience?
- [11:29] How has our perspective of death changed as a culture?
- [14:40] Has she had any big learning moments that have stuck with her?
- [16:28] Does she have mentors that have guided her through her writing journey?
- [19:14] How does she stay focused and keep writing through the distraction?
- [21:33] Emily shares her parting advice.
- [23:07] Connect with Emily.
Links and Resources:
Emily on Instagram
Emily on Facebook
Watch the interview here.