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Without a Map: A Memoir


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About the Author

Meredith Hall graduated from Bowdoin College at the age of 44. She wrote her first essay, "Killing Chickens," in 2002. Two years later, she won the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation, which gave her the financial freedom to devote time to her memoir Without a Map. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize and notable essay recognition in Best American Essays. She was also a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Award. Hall's work has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, The Southern Review, Five Points, Prairie Schooner, and several anthologies. She teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire and lives in Maine. Visit Meredith Hall's website at www.meredithhall.org.


Hall emerges as a brave writer of tumultuous beauty.--Alanna Nash, Entertainment Weekly

First-time author Hall pens a haunting meditation on love, loss, and family . . . Hall colors outside the lines with this memoir, full of unexpected twists and turns.--Caroline Leavitt, People (rated 4 out of 4 stars) Hall's memoir is a sobering portrayal of how punitive her close-knit New Hampshire community was in 1965 when, at the age of 16, she became pregnant in the course of a casual summer romance . . . Hall offers a testament to the importance of understanding and even forgiving the people who, however unconscious or unkind, have made us who we are.--Francine Prose, O Magazine Meredith Hall's long journey from an inexcusably betrayed girlhood to the bittersweet mercies of womanhood is a triple triumph--of survival; of narration; and of forgiveness. Without a Map is a masterpiece.--David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and God Laughs and Plays Each chapter of Without a Map is polished and elegantly written . . . the structure is shapely and the book yields poignant insights.--Juliet Wittman, Washington Post Beautifully rendered.--Elle, nonfiction readers' pick In 1965, in a small New Hampshire town, sixteen-year-old Meredith Hall got pregnant and was consequently kicked out of her school, home, church, and community. Hall's mother sent her to another town to live with her father and stepmother, who confined her to the house. Days after giving birth (her baby was put up for adoption), she interviewed at a boarding school where she was forbidden to mention anything about her past. Hall's memoir, Without a Map, is a devastating story of what happens when a person is exiled from her own life.--Frances Lefkowitz, Body + Soul A poignant, unflinchingly assured memoir . . . exquisite. --Robert Braile, Boston Globe Meredith Hall's magnificent book held me in its thrall from the moment I began reading the opening pages . . . a fluid, beautifully written, hard-won piece of work that belongs on the shelf next to the best modern memoirs.--Dani Shapiro, author of Black and White An unusually elegant memoir that feels as though it's been carved straight out of Meredith Hall's capacious heart. The story is riveting, the words perfect.--Lauren Slater, author of Welcome to My Country and Opening Skinner's Box Without a Map is stunning . . . Book groups, take note.--Booklist

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