Once I Was Cool
by Megan Stielstra
In these insightful, compassionate, gutsy, and heartbreaking personal essays, Stielstra, whose essay “Channel B” was recently featured in Best American Essays 2013 edited by Cheryl Strayed, explores the messy, maddening beauty of adulthood with wit, intelligence, and biting humor.
The essays in Once I Was Cool tackle beating postpartum depression by stalking her neighbor, to a surprise run-in with an old lover while on ecstasy, to blowing her mortgage on a condo she bought because of Jane's Addiction.
PRAISE FOR ONCE I WAS COOL:
"In Once I Was Cool, Megan Stielstra is warm and open and wise. Whether she’s writing about the complex loneliness of early motherhood or failing to rise to the occasion or find the right language while living abroad, Stielstra is a masterful essayist. From the first page tot he last, she demonstrates a graceful understanding of the power of storytelling. What she’s truly offering with her words, is the grandest of gifts."
—Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State
"I read this book in two and a half hours. Then I started reading it again."
—Jamie Iredell, author of I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac
"What an amazing cri de coeur Once I Was Cool is. Megan Stielstra tells us in a witty, sympathetic, confident voice who she is and what and whom she cares about most. Reading these essays, I laughed out loud and also found myself on the verge of tears so many times. This book should be read by anyone who's been in love, had a child or thought about having a child. So, probably, that's everyone."
—Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts
ABOUT MEGAN STIELSTRA:
Megan Stielstra is the author of Everyone Remain Calm and the Literary Director of the 2nd Story storytelling series. She’s told stories for all sorts of theaters, festivals, and bars including The Goodman, The Steppenwolf, and The Museum of Contemporary Art. Her writing has appeared in Best American Essays 2013,The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.
Publication Date: May 2014