New Meridian Arts
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Collect Call To My Mother
Essays on Love, Grief, and Getting a Good Night's Sleep
Collect Call to My Mother follows Lori Horvitz’ experiences as a queer Jewish New Yorker living in the South, looking for love in the internet age. When she teaches a class of queer college students who look to her as a role model, what they don’t know is that she spent her twenties and thirties in the closet and leapt from one relationship disaster to the next. Each of her
turbulent trysts helps unearth the roots of her poor judgment: a chaotic upbringing, compounded by her mother’s emotional distance and early death. In these essays exploring themes of love, family, and grief, Horvitz gradually embraces who she is and finds a healthy, long-term relationship.
“A scintillating collection, full of subtle wit and passionate yearning.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“…Horvitz’s lucid prose offers a nuanced depiction of her rocky path to self-acceptance. Lyrical, frank, and meditative, this consideration of grief and identity resonates." —Publisher’s Weekly
“With her witty yet poignant voice, Lori Horvitz’ writing is a cross between David Sedaris and Anne Lamott. These well-crafted essays make unexpected connections between her tumultuous love life, her fraught relationship with her mother, and her compelling experiences with identity and grief. Ultimately, hers is an affecting story."—Joelle Fraser, author of The Territory of Men and The Forest House
“The quest for love is a risky matter, and Lori Horvitz delivers it in pithy essays that have the daring vulnerability of an improv act and the bite of a Jewish joke…Though each essay stands on its own, the sequence has cumulative power, gathering depth and intensity. Reading the last few, tears welled up in me as lifelong struggles culminate in gratitude and inner freedom. In the end,
Collect Call to My Mother is a book about becoming whole.”
—Joan Larkin, author of My Body: New and Selected Poems
“Collect Call to My Mother is a hilarious, endearing, and achingly honest memoir. If you’ve ever felt like a misfit, you will see yourself in these funny, sad, and ultimately hopeful essays.”
—Sharon Harrigan, author of Half and Playing with Dynamite
“Lori Horvitz’s vibrant second collection of essays, equal parts heart, humor, and heartbreak, is impossible to put down. She is an unflinching, astute, and brave observer of not just the world but most of all herself. Whatever her vast and amazing range of subjects—family, relationships, dogs, grief and loss, Allen Ginsberg—each and every essay is beautifully crafted and resonant.” —Gary Eldon Peter, author of Oranges and The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen
“In her remarkable memoir-in-essays, Lori Horvitz valiantly heeds, as both a writer and a human, E.M. Forster's admonition to ‘Only connect.’ Haunted by grief and ghosts and questions of identity, Horvitz never stops seeking love, in all its forms. This book is a thoughtful, moving, and candidly funny affirmation of life.” —Kimberly Elkins, author of What Is Visible
About the Author
Lori Horvitz’ first collection of memoir-essays, The Girls of Usually (Truman State UP), won the 2016 Gold Medal IPPY Book Award in Autobiography/Memoir. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Under the Sun, Hobart, Epiphany, South Dakota Review, The Laurel Review, The New York Times, The Guardian, Bustle, and Hotel Amerika. Professor of English at UNC Asheville, Horvitz has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, Cottages at Hedgebrook, VCCA, Ragdale, Blue Mountain Center, and Brush Creek. She holds a Ph.D. in English from SUNY Albany, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.