In one of the essays in Once I Was Cool, Megan describes going to a Jane's Addiction concert when she was just 16. She describes the moment when the band started playing her song and how she began singing all of the lyrics at the top of her lungs. Then, teenage Megan looks around and sees thousands of people singing the lyrics to her song. The beautiful and powerful humanity of that moment is what I felt rippling through every essay in this incredible collection. READ LOCAL! READ THIS.
In these insightful, compassionate, gutsy, and heartbreaking personal essays, Stielstra, whose essay Channel B was recently featured in Best American Essays 2013 edited by Cheryl Strayed, explores the messy, maddening beauty of adulthood with wit, intelligence, and biting humor.The essays in Once I Was Cool tackle topics ranging from beating postpartum depression by stalking her neighbor, to a surprise run-in with an old lover while on ecstasy, to blowing her mortgage on a condo she bought because of Jane's Addiction. Or, said another way, they tackle life in all of its quotidian richness.
About the Author
Megan Stielstra is the author of Everyone Remain Calm and the Literary Director of the 2nd Story storytelling series. She's told stories for all sorts of theaters, festivals, and bars including The Goodman, The Steppenwolf, and The Museum of Contemporary Art. Her writing has appeared in Best American Essays 2013, The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.