Join us as we celebrate the release of Jennifer Niesslein’s new book, Dreadful Sorry: Essays on an American Nostalgia. This in-person event will be cosponsored by WriterHouse and will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.
About the Book: Dreadful Sorry offers candid essays on personal and cultural American nostalgia, focusing on the author’s working-class, Rust Belt family history.
What does it mean to be nostalgic for the American past? The feeling has been co-opted by the far right (“Make America Great Again,” after all, is a plea for the past), and associated with violent periods of our country’s history when white supremacy was even more dominant than today. Can a liberal white woman still be sentimental about her childhood, her European immigrant family history, her working-class upbringing?
In Dreadful Sorry, Jennifer Niesslein explores her “nostalgia problem” with grace and curiosity. The essays recount her thoughts upon rewatching Little Women with her sisters and mother, her hand-to-mouth childhood, the effect being “not the right kind of white” had on her Polish immigrant ancestors in the U.S, and her family’s own racism. Niesslein weaves together personal and structural questions of class, whiteness, history, and family with humor and charisma.
This is a book for anyone who wants to think about their relationship to their childhood, family history, and place.
About the Author: Jennifer Niesslein is the editor of Full Grown People as well as the editor of two Full Grown People anthologies. She wrote one memoir, Practically Perfect in Every Way (Putnam, 2007), and cofounded Brain, Child magazine. Originally from western Pennsylvania, she lives in Charlottesville.
Dreadful Sorry will be released on March 1, 2022. To order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.
"Jennifer Niesslein’s fearless, beautiful Dreadful Sorry takes on American myths, childhood memories, family history, and ghosts personal and public with wit, love, and a journalist’s flair. Dreadful Sorry invites us to consider the nostalgia we create for future generations. This book is a wonder in all the best ways."
—Jessica Handler, author of The Magnetic Girl
New Dominion Bookshop Book Order Form
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