Paper pub. date
October 2024
ISBN 9781962645225 (paperback)
6 x 9, 240 pages.
Available October 2024

Virginia’s Apple

Collected Memoirs

Judith Barrington
Summary
Reviews

The fourteen literary memoirs collected in Virginia’s Apple explore pivotal episodes across poet and writer Judith Barrington’s life. Artfully crafted, each one stands alone yet they are linked—characters reappear and, taken together, the pieces create a larger narrative.

The content is wide-ranging: the early days of the Second Wave of feminism—the exhilaration, the wildness, the love affairs, the surprises, and the self-invention, as well as the confusion and conflicts of those heady times; navigating a sometimes precarious existence as an out lesbian long before it was commonplace; leaving England and becoming an American citizen; finding a life partner; and growing old with an inherited disability. The author’s friendship with the distinguished poet Adrienne Rich is the subject of one story. In another, there’s an appearance by the notorious murderer, Lord Lucan, whose wife was a chance acquaintance.

These stories are laced with humor and joy, while pulsing below the surface is the slow unfolding of delayed grief over her parents’ drowning when she was nineteen, revealing how such a loss can shape a life.


About the author

Judith Barrington’s Lifesaving: A Memoir was the winner of the Lambda Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. Memoirs in this collection were included in Creative Nonfiction’s “Favorite Prizewinning Essays” and as Notable Literary Nonfiction in Best American Essays. Barrington is also the author of the bestselling Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


Read more about this author

“When we are able to move fluidly through the past, present, and future by looking back on a life I believe we become new creatures in our own lives. Judith Barrington's brilliant collection of linked life stories, Virginia's Apple, is a thrilling book that pulls memories through creative visionary transmography. I felt like I was swimming inside the imagination of all the brilliant women who came before me who have kept me alive, and all the women who are coming after us. With poetic and erotic power, this book helped me remember to keep going as long as it takes for change to emerge. What a triumph. I feel gratitude.”—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and Thrust

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