NANCY J. NORDENSON

medical writer • creative writer

Becoming: What Makes a Woman


My essay "Ontology," originally published in Harpur Palate, has been anthologized in Becoming: What Makes A Woman edited by Jill McCabe Johnson (University of Nebraska Gender Programs, 2012).

From the publisher: A must-read anthology of life-altering personal experiences. The events a in a woman's life etch indelible changes. These personal essays and poems mark significant life events from early formative experiences to vibrant later years. Read stories from a war correspondent, the first female on an all-male college swim team, a woman visiting her ex-husband at his new commune. Strong women caring for parents and children, fighting oppression, facing arranged marriages, bridging cultural and gender differences, and defending the weak. Hear from scientists, journalists, political protesters, sisters, grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. Girls donning last-minute Halloween costumes, struggling during their first marching band practice, and figuring out how best to hang from the monkey bars. Women triumphing over insecurity, illness, addiction, and loss. Exquisitely written stories of ordinary and extraordinary experiences, from harrowing to hilarious, the pivotal life moments that make us who we are today. The diverse collection includes essays and poems by Ellen Bass, Peggy Shumaker, Lia Purpura, Dinah Lenney, Judith Slater, Marjorie Saiser, Dilruba Ahmed, Julie L. Moore, Maria Terrone, and more.

Becoming: What Makes a Woman brings to life those remarkable moments, large and small, that transform an individual, steering us toward the lives we were meant to lead. An astonishing array of gifted writers explore intimacy, doubt, love, joy, and sorrow to form this exhilarating anthology. A rich and wonderful read.”
Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life

“Beautifully conceived and organized, this collection unfolds much the way a woman’s life reveals itself: slowly, gently, and sometimes painfully nudging our way into wisdom.”
Brenda Miller, author of Season of the Body and Listening Against the Stone

Selected Creative Works

Books
Anthologies
Includes my essay "Things that Fall and Things that Stand"
Includes my essay "Ontology"
Essays
A list of published essays.

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