Mary Laura Philpott presents I Miss You When I Blink: Essays, in conversation with Jamie Mason

Mary Laura Philpott thought she'd cracked the code. Always make the right choices and you'll always be happy. But what happens if taking every correct turn somehow leads you down the wrong road and, worse, to a destination you barely recognize? I Miss You When I Blink is a brave and candid debut memoir-in-essays, brimming with self-effacing wit and suffused with hard-earned wisdom. By turns humorous and heart-rending, Philpott writes about meticulously ticking all the boxes on her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), only to find herself at loose ends and longing for a new path. Mary Laura’s young son once said to her, “I miss you when I blink.” Over the years, the simple sentence became a touchstone—a reminder to slow down, to live in the moment. But it also served as an apt description of the creeping identity crisis many experience at some point. She missed. . . . herself. Surrounded by everything she had always wanted, Mary Laura still felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of packed calendars, endless carpools, and grueling small talk, she wondered: What's the worse failure? Smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options? Philpott's stories about reassessing her goals and reinventing her life—with funny and fraught detours along the way—show that losing track of where we're going and how to get there can happen anytime and many times. And that’s okay! Her spot-on observations about home, work, family, and creativity are sure to resonate with those moving in or out of a friendship or romance, leaving school and entering the real world, or balancing professional ambitions with personal passions—in short, anyone who's ever felt the need to hit rewind and redo the way things are, or figure out how to take that challenging next step forward. Like lingering late-night conversations with a kindred spirit, these incisive and ultimately inspiring essays are sure to appeal to readers of Meghan Daum, Dani Shapiro, Sloane Crosley, David Rakoff, Jessi Klein, and Jenny Lawson—and others who appreciate the appeal of striking out on the Pacific Crest Trail or settling into an Italian villa, yet don’t want to leave quite everything behind.

Mary  Laura Philpott's writing has been featured in print or online by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, McSweeney's, Paris Review, and other publications. She's the founding editor of Musing, the online magazine of Parnassus Books, as well as an Emmy-winning co-host of the literary interview show A Word on Words on Nashville Public Radio. 

Mary Laura Philpott will be joined by Jamie Mason, author of Three Graves Full and Monday's Lie

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Event date: 
Monday, April 8, 2019 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe
I Miss You When I Blink: Essays Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982102807
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 2nd, 2019

Monday's Lie Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476774466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - October 13th, 2015