Think about Sex and the City. I’m talking about the original, not the And Just Like That reboot. If HBO’s mega-hit is to be believed, the life of a writer is seldom anything but charmed. Sure, there are breakups and fights with friends and novel ideas that never come to fruition, but there are also extravagant parties, walk-in closets and gargantuan book advances.
In her first foray into nonfiction, I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home, writer Jami Attenberg makes it abundantly clear that Carrie Bradshaw is the exception to the rule.
In this memoir-in-essays, the acclaimed novelist of All Grown Up and All This Could Be Yours elaborates on what it means for someone who was “born to be a writer” to see that goal through, and how expectations rarely align with reality.
Having grown up with a traveling salesman father, Attenberg knew early on that she preferred a nomadic lifestyle to settling down (she was 45 before owning a bed frame). She happily refuses many of the trappings of stereotypical womanhood, admitting that while she never wanted a husband or children, she is envious of the full refrigerator that often accompanies those things. Neither is she a literary wunderkind. It wasn’t until 2014’s The Middlesteins that she became, in her words, “a newly moderately successful writer.”