Gayle Brandeis--a loving friend and colleague--grew up in the Chicago area and has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old. She is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write(HarperOne), Dictionary Poems (Pudding House Publications), the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, Self Storage (Ballantine) and Delta Girls (Ballantine), and her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns (Holt). (Buy them all now!)
Gayle 's mother committed suicide shortly after Gayle remarried and gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy. This moving essay, about dedications in novels, and about her mom, speaks to the stories we ache to tell, and the people we yearn for.