Last Wednesday, we welcomed Mary Laura Philpott and Curtis Sittenfeld to ModernWell for a discussion around Mary Laura’s new book “I Miss You When I Blink,” which was named to the #1 spot on the Indie Next List by booksellers nationwide, and featured on must-read lists from Esquire, Newsweek, BuzzFeed, Town & Country, theSkimm, ELLE Australia, Lit Hub, Southern Living, Bustle, The Millions, BookRiot, and the Chicago Review of Books.
As an essayist, Mary Laura admitted that she never really thought about writing a book, but when enough publishers asked whether she’d thought about it, Mary Laura started to compile essays one by one until she had what she thought was enough for a humor collection. But when her publisher called and said she had cried four times in the first 10 pages, Mary Laura knew that the story was much deeper than she thought.
“When I got my essays back and realized it wasn’t a series of humorous stories, it made me write the harder things and talk about because the story just didn’t make sense if I didn’t take the moments to explain the not-so-fun things.”
The impact of Mary Laura’s humorous yet honest essay collection has reached far beyond her publisher. The book has hit numerous top charts and continues to grow a following, especially on social media. But Mary Laura wasn’t expecting such reactions from readers.
“Honestly, the fact that I’ve received reactions at all is so gratifying! I didn’t expect readers to reach out to me through my website and social media and tell me their stories. They feel like I’ve told them my thing so now they can tell me their thing – it’s really sweet.”
The essays include personal stories and thoughts of her journey as a young perfectionist with a determination to check all of the boxes of the “perfect life” list through modern adulthood. Mary Laura’s offers her own stories as she navigates through adulthood about work, personality and identity, relationships and creativity. Each essay is equally honest and moving as it is witty, leaving you either in tears or breaking out in laughter at the turn of each page.
Thank you to everyone who attended the conversation – enjoy photos from the event and be sure to pick up a copy of “I Miss You When I Blink” at your local bookstore!
Looking for more events? Visit our events page to learn about all of the incredible women we have coming to the space!