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I Miss You When I Blink

Essays

By Mary Laura Philpott
Narrated by Mary Laura Philpott / 6 hours 5 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

I Miss You When I Blink

“Mary Laura Philpott writes about today’s American woman in her marvelously frank and witty book of essays, I Miss You When I Blink. Women of all ages will nod their heads when reading about the decision to have babies (or not), the pitfalls of volunteering, the difficulty of getting a cat out from under the bed, the reward of crossing things off ‘the list,’ the challenge of finding time for relaxation, and, above all, the acceleration of time as we age. Philpott shares pivotal moments from her life in such a relatable way that, through both laughter and tears, readers will exclaim, ‘Yes, yes, this is ME!’ Don’t miss this gem!”

Vault Books and Brew image Nancy Simpson-Brice, Vault Books and Brew

Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself.

Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.


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“Mary Laura Philpott is a writer, artist, and creator of singular spark and delight. I adore her, and I love her work. Thank God she has finally written a memoir! By offering these dispatches from her own life experience, she leaves us thinking about ourselves — where we’ve been, where we’re going, and who we really want to be.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“Mary Laura Philpott is relentlessly funny, self-effacing and charming as she tells the story of living as a triple-A-plus perfectionist. In her willingness to tell her own story, she taps into a universal truth for so many women: we plan to do it all until we find we can’t do anything anymore. I Miss You When I Blink made me laugh, it made me cry. I miss it already.””

Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth

Reviews

“At once rueful, hilarious, brave, and inspiring, I Miss You When I Blink is beautifully relatable and reassuring, even as it makes you pause and think. This marvelous collection of essays belongs on the bookshelf sandwiched between Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron. Mary Laura Philpott is going to make a whole lot of readers feel seen and understood.”

Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance

About the Author

Mary Laura Philpott is the author of the essay collection I Miss You When I Blink (Simon & Schuster / Atria Books); the author and illustrator of a little humor book called Penguins with People Problems; a writer whose work appears in publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, O The Oprah Magazine, and others; the founding editor of MUSING, the digital magazine published by Parnassus Books; and an Emmy-award winning co-host of A Word on Words, a literary interview show on Nashville Public Television. Mary Laura also enjoys traveling around the country to talk to people about books, reading, and writing. Across her work, Mary Laura examines the overlap of the absurd and the profound in life, literature, and culture. She has built a career doing what she loves and feels mighty lucky to be here. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

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Mary Laura Philpott Website

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