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Seven Minutes from Home: An American Daughter’s Story is a collection of linked stories written chronologically from 1980—2015. They create a multifaceted narrative of how the public and the private, the past and present, the local and global, intersect. With earnest reflection, modesty and humor, Laurel Richardson introduces the reader to her Ohio neighborhoods, friends, family, writers and therapy dogs. She ages, retires and frets over her droopy eyebrow. Her town’s local stores close; police bust heroin dealers; September 11th happens; universities corporatize; poetry venues transform. All this and much more as Richardson honors the complexity and vibrancy of America, and her life within it. Richardson’s renowned book, Fields of Play (1997) is about constructing a life inside the academy; Seven Minutes from Home is about constructing a life outside the academy. This extraordinary example of literary sociology can be read for pleasure, adopted in book clubs, or used in courses in American Studies, communication, creative writing, narrative, qualitative research, sociology, cultural studies and women’s studies. An appendix offers discussion questions, research projects and creative writing exercises.
NOMINATED: USA BEST BOOK AWARD 2016 in the category of autobiography/memoirs
NOMINATED: ICQI 2017 Outstanding Book Award
A True Story of Loss and Found
Honorbale Mention for the 2020 ICQI Qualitative Book Award!

On her death bed, Laurel Richardson’s sister whispers a deep family secret to her. Those whispered words send the famed sociologist and author on a personal exploration of a lifetime. Lone Twin: A True Story of Loss and Found is an extraordinary story of a search for identity, wholeness, and forgiveness. Grounded in the cultures of mid-Twentieth Century Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles, Lone Twin weaves the personal with the social, cultural, and political. Richardson shares fascinating, resonant, and humorous stories about her relationships with a suicidal poet, a Swedish fencer, a budding scientist, a Puerto Rican family, a Mafia family, her Russian Jewish and Irish Catholic family, and her famous cousin, Laura Foreman. Her story is at once singular and plural. As Richardson shares her journey towards wholeness and forgiveness, readers are invited to consider their own journeys and ask: Is there something missing in my life? How do I justify my existence? Lone Twin is an exquisitely written book about identity, the search for people who understand us, and the ties that bind. This outstanding example of literary sociology can be used as supplemental reading in a range of courses in American studies, gender studies, social science, child development, and creative writing. It can be read entirely for pleasure and is a great choice for book clubs. An appendix offers discussion questions, projects, and creative writing exercises.
In: Seven Minutes from Home
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In: Seven Minutes from Home