How does one become a writer? For acclaimed novelist Judith Freeman—born the sixth child of eight in a devout Mormon household, married at seventeen, and divorced at twenty-two with a young child—it was an unlikely path. In her arresting, lyrical memoir set in the patriarchal cloister of Utah in the 1950s and 1960s, she explores the circumstances and choices that informed her course through a thicket of profound difficulties towards becoming. Joined by L.A. native and novelist Michelle Huneven, Freeman visits ALOUD to share her illuminating portrait of resilience and self-discovery.
Judith Freeman is the author of four novels—Red Water, The Chinchilla Farm, Set for Life, and A Desert of Pure Feeling—and of Family Attractions, a collection of stories, and The Long Embrace, a biography of Raymond Chandler. She lives in California and Idaho.
Michelle Huneven is the author of four novels including Round Rock, and Jamesland, both New York Times Notable Books and finalists for the LA Times Book Award. Her third novel, Blame, was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the LA Times Book Award; and her fourth novel, Off Course, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. She was the recipient of a GE Younger Writers Award, a Whiting Award for Fiction, and a James Beard award for her work reviewing restaurants for the LA Times, the LA Weekly, and other publications. She has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop and been a senior fiction editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. A short story, "Too Good to Be True," was recently published in Harpers. Michelle teaches creative writing at UCLA and lives in Altadena, California, with her husband, dog, cat, and talkative African Gray parrot.