Faculty News: Barrie Jean Borich Releases New Memoir

In today’s Faculty News, we extend our congratulations to Prof. Barrie Jean Borich. Borich joined DePaul’s creative writing faculty last fall, and this spring she is celebrating the release of her third creative nonfiction book, Body Geographic. Body Geographic is published by the University of Nebraska Press and was selected for inclusion in the American Lives Series, edited by Tobias Wolff.

From the official press release:

A memoir from the award-winning author of My Lesbian Husband, Barrie Jean Borich’s Body Geographic turns personal history into an inspired reflection on the points where place and person intersect, where running away meets running toward, and where dislocation means finding oneself.

One coordinate of Borich’s story is Chicago, the prototypical Great Lakes port city built by immigrants like her great-grandfather Big Petar, and bodygeographicthe other is her own port of immigration, Minneapolis, the combined skylines of these two cities tattooed on Borich’s own back. Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family’s, and her fellow travelers’ in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain—from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of Midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian— Body Geographic is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map.

Body Geographic is as astonishingly original as it is profoundly humane. Barrie Jean Borich writes of the body, the psyche, the land, and real life with a reach so grand and a mastery so definitive it clutches the heart. This is a beautiful, bold, blow-your-mind book.”
—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Body Geographic is dizzying in its inward sweep, daring in its out-flung absorption. Barrie Jean Borich tunnels through time, space, sex, and language to give us a new map projection of the North American continent, a distortion that not only clarifies and illuminates but dissolves for good the boundary between personal and public history.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?

“Borich maps place and body, time and space, personal history and the history of the American Midwest, in prose that makes me want to follow her daring journey wherever it leads. A glorious new take on the memoir form.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire

The Chicago leg of Borich’s Body Geographic book tour starts next month and includes the following events:

Friday, April 12th,  2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Body Geographic‘s Chicago book launch
Barrie Jean Borich reading from BODY GEOGRAPHIC
Melanie Hoffert reading from PRAIRIE SILENCE
Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St.

Thursday, May 9th,  2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Barrie Jean Borich reading from BODY GEOGRAPHIC
Rachael Hanel reading from WE’LL BE THE LAST ONES TO LET YOU DOWN
The Book Cellar Chicago, 4736-38 N Lincoln Ave.

Tuesday, May 21st,  2013 at 6:00 p.m.
DePaul University Writers’ Series
Richardson Library, Room 115

Passionate Professors Flyer

***

Borich will also be one of two professors featured in Sigma Tau Delta’s “Passionate Professors” event taking place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12th from 5-7 p.m. in Room 202 of Arts & Letters Hall.

Christine Sneed will be the other featured professor, and both will be discussing their recently released books.

See the flyer for more details.

***

Finally, there’s a way to get even more involved in the Body Geographic book launch. From now until March 16th, Borich is asking everyone to create a visual response— a photo, a drawing, etc.,– to the prompt “The Map That Made Me.”

You can email your image to bodygeographic@gmail.com, post the map on the Barrie Borich WHAT IS THE MAP THAT MADE YOU_Nonfiction-Universe Facebook page, or tweet your map with some kind of identifying info @BOOKofBJB.

The goal of the project is to post as many maps as possible, as an “autogeography slide show” online as a visual community conversation about places, bodies, and memories. All invited to participate, and you do not have to be an artist.

Click to enlarge the flyer for complete details.

For more information about Borich, Body Geographic, and “The Map That Made Me,”– including a book trailer– visit barriejeanborich.com.

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3 comments on “Faculty News: Barrie Jean Borich Releases New Memoir

  1. rachaelhanel says:

    Reblogged this on We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down and commented:
    I’m thrilled to be reading with Barrie on May 9 at The Book Cellar in Chicago. Barrie was a valuable mentor to me in the 2007-08 Loft Mentorship Series. A copy of her book sits on my table! I cannot wait to start reading it.

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