Women We Buried, Women We Burned: A Memoir (Paperback)

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Kirkus Best Nonfiction Title of 2023

“Snyder shows us how to summon the courage to imagine in a cruel and dangerous world. A beautiful book.” -Patrick Radden Keefe, New York Times bestselling author of Rogues and Empire of Pain

“A gorgeous memoir that parses the patriarchy with an endearing frankness as fierce as it is, astonishingly, forgiving.” -Beth Macy, New York Times bestselling author of Dopesick and Raising Lazarus

For decades, journalist Rachel Louise Snyder has been a fierce advocate reporting on the darkest social issues that impact women's lives. Women We Buried, Women We Burned is her own inspiring story, a “bracing . . . glittering testimony” (Washington Post) to writing as a lifeline, the power and mutability of story, and learning to forgive.

When eight-year-old Rachel's mother died, her distraught father thrust the family into extreme evangelicalism. After a childhood marked by silence and rage, teenage Rachel became outwardly furious-and rebellious. She was expelled from school and home at age sixteen. Living out of her car and relying on strangers, Rachel found herself masquerading as an adult, talking her way into college, and eventually travelling the globe.

Survival became her reporter's beat. In places like India, Tibet, Niger, and Cambodia, she interviewed those who had been through the unimaginable. In country after country, she found people choosing hope over despair. When she returned to the States with a family of her own, it was with a deeper appreciation for life's complexity, a distinctly generous approach to difficult subject matter, and a chance for healing from the most unexpected place.

About the Author

Rachel Louise Snyder is the author of Fugitive Denim, the novel What We've Lost is Nothing, and No Visible Bruises, a New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year, winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, the Hillman Prize, and the Helen Bernstein Book Award, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, LA Times Book Prize, and Kirkus Award. A Guggenheim Fellow, Snyder is a Professor of Creative Writing and Journalism at American University. She lives in Washington, DC.

Praise For…

“Inspirational . . . Snyder observes the world with both an unsparing eye and a generous spirit.” —Jennifer Szalai, New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

“A superb memoir, a bracing piece of prose, a glittering testimony to endurance and the power of writing itself to offer a lifeline to the struggling.” —Katie Roiphe, Washington Post

“An affecting memoir . . . Excellent writing and a clear perspective enhance this primer on how to hope.” —Los Angeles Times

“Snyder's memoir is as heartbreaking, wrenching and compelling as the stories of the victims in her eye-opening book on domestic violence.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“The author of NO VISIBLE BRUISES writes a searing memoir telling the story of her triumph over impossible odds, from her mother's early death, expulsion from school and homelessness to her global reporting on domestic violence.” —USA Today

“Rachel Louise Snyder's two most recent books are like pendant portraits, each complementing and illuminating the other, a literary matched set. In No Visible Bruises, Snyder probed the pathology and sociology of intimate partner violence . . . Women We Buried, Women We Burned, an engrossing memoir of her own troubled, motherless early life, helps explain both her attraction to that dark subject and her appreciation of its complexity. [Snyder's] difficult past, with all its emotional complexities, becomes an asset. It renders her unafraid to explore the grittier aspects of human nature . . . moving” —The Boston Globe

“The tenacity and bravery of a young woman determined to survive and make her own mark on the world move the narrative with unstoppable force as the sentences build in intensity and poignancy . . . Anyone moved by No Visible Bruises should put this at the top of their to-read list. Exceptional writing, a harrowing coming-of-age story, and critical awareness combine to make a must-read memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Compelling, propulsive, gripping and disturbing in equal measure.” —BookPage, starred review

“Snyder's most recent book, No Visible Bruises, explored the psychological entanglements of domestic violence. This offering once again considers complex relationships, but at a personal level . . . searingly honest and moving.” —Booklist

“A penetrating memoir on grief and redemption . . . Snyder delivers her inspiring story with lyrical prose and sharp insights, particularly about the fraught father-daughter relationship at its center. It's an eloquent portrayal of the power of forgiveness.” —Publishers Weekly

“For fans of Tara Westover's Educated, Snyder provides a triumphant story of beating the odds and of radical self-definition-with a punk rock backdrop to boot!” —Oprah Daily

“[Snyder's] background as a journalist shines through as she describes her experiences honestly but without added drama or artifice, instead letting the people and events speak for themselves. This results in a narrative whose style belies its depth, for even as Rachel recounts her own maturation as a woman and a writer, she's also commenting obliquely on how trauma is recapitulated and the countless ways in which male authority warps and erases women's stories and lived realities. How she undertakes this work is subtle, even crafty.” —Bookreporter

“How do you write a book about overcoming extreme hardship, about the singular people who convince you to take a chance on yourself, about finding the big world after a childhood that prepared you for a tiny one, about discovering that you love the people who failed to love you - and manage not to strike a single trite note? How do you remember every detail and make the reader feel like they saw, heard, and felt each moment? I have no idea, actually, but Rachel Louise Snyder has done it.” —Masha Gessen, National Book Award winning author of THE FUTURE IS HISTORY and SURVIVING AUTOCRACY

“A bold and searing memoir about family and violence, illness and independence, pain and fear and beauty. With wry humor and enormous humanity, Rachel Louise Snyder shows us how to summon the courage to imagine in a cruel and dangerous world. A beautiful book.” —Patrick Radden Keefe, New York Times bestselling author of ROGUES, EMPIRE OF PAIN, and SAY NOTHING

“With the same virtuosity and eye for detail she brought to No Visible Bruises, Rachel Louise Snyder uses her own story to illuminate the many divides that plague America, from class and culture wars to toxic religiosity and frayed family ties. Women We Buried, Women We Burned is a gorgeous memoir that parses the patriarchy with an endearing frankness as fierce as it is, astonishingly, forgiving.” —Beth Macy, New York Times bestselling author of DOPESICK and RAISING LAZARUS

“Bravery and honesty are the cornerstone of the memoir, but Snyder adds to this-generosity. This is a compassionate telling of a sometimes brutal story. Women We Buried, Women We Burned reminds me of opera, with its beautiful sadness and artistic triumph. The hope contained on these pages is hard won, and all the more precious due to the struggles from which it emerges.” —Tayari Jones, New York Times bestselling author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE

“With a journalist's keen eye and a novelist's elegant prose, Rachel Louise Snyder delivers an unsentimental and bone-deep observational memoir of death and family, class and history, East and West, and politics and travel; at the center of each story is a reaffirmation of human survival as an art of triumph.” —Suki Kim, New York Times bestselling author of WITHOUT YOU, THERE IS NO US

“A harrowing story of survival that also brims with warmth, wit and insight, this memoir has the propulsive force of a novel, driven by a spirit of compassion and curiosity that will not be broken.” —Jessica Bruder, New York Times bestselling author of NOMADLAND

“With wonderfully evocative prose, Rachel Louise Snyder captures here the stark horror of a child losing her mother and half her roots as she's then swept into her evangelical father's second family and has to either flee or be erased. As nakedly honest as it is fair, what is so remarkable about Women We Buried, Women We Burned is that Snyder does flee, and her lone voyage to her very self is the voyage of so many girls and women around the world who have been uprooted and cast aside and must find their own way back. This is an important and profoundly moving memoir, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.” —Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author of TOWNIE and SUCH KINDNESS

“A propulsive, clear-eyed, and stunning memoir about transformation, self-discovery, and the journey we go on when we decide that yes, we want to do more than simply survive; we want to thrive. Women We Buried, Women We Burned is a revelation.” —Chelsea Bieker, author of HEARTBROKE and GODSHOT

“Rachel Louise Snyder's story begins with a series of profound losses but becomes, in her careful and compassionate telling, a story about what we might gain by looking directly at the most difficult parts of our pasts. This is a gorgeous and radiantly honest book, brilliant in its ability to capture the way grief reverberates across a lifetime. Rather than force trauma into a false closure, Snyder transforms it into a radical openness and ability to connect.” —Danielle Evans, author of THE OFFICE OF HISTORICAL CORRECTIONS

“As stunning as it is powerful, Women We Buried, Women We Burned is a tour-de-force memoir of family, faith, love, loss, resilience, and, ultimately, redemption. With deftness and grace, Snyder navigates the complicated terrain of childhood trauma and presents a model for how to reconcile with the ghosts of your past.” —Monica West, author of REVIVAL SEASON

Women We Buried, Women We Burned is a profoundly moving and layered memoir that is nuanced in all the spaces where life gets complicated. A writer with wit as sharp as her prose, Rachel Louise Snyder's story connects on so many levels because she writes honestly about traumas, forgiveness, and the hard work it takes to build a life. A truly stunning book that will broaden hearts and minds, and also educate and inspire.” —Loung Ung, author of FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER

Product Details
ISBN: 9781639734078
ISBN-10: 1639734074
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: July 16th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English