43 min

The Toxicity of Shame featuring Meg Kissinger Let’s Talk Memoir

    • Books

Meg Kissinger joins Let’s Talk Memoir for a conversation about losing two siblings to suicide, using her skills as a journalist on her own family, America’s failed mental health system, stripping away prejudice about people with mental illness, the toxicity of shame, being curious and nonjudgmental, growing up with a sense of anxiety and vigilance, writing about people who’ve suffered with love, and her memoir While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence.
 
Also in this episode:
-false starts
-forgiveness
-depicting the dualities and complexities of those we love
 
Books mentioned in this episode:
Educated by Tara Westover
The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
Never Simple by Liz Scheier
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
 
Meg Kissinger, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and author, will help you see and think about people with mental illness in a new light. Her engaging memoir, “While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence,” has been praised for its incisive reporting, boundless compassion and surprising humor. It was named as an editors choice by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, Goodreads and Independent Booksellers Association. Audible chose it as the Best of the Year. 
Kissinger spent more than two decades traveling across the country to report on our nation’s failed mental health system, winning dozens of national awards. She is a popular speaker at universities, civic organizations and corporate events. She taught investigative reporting at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and is a trainer for the school’s Dart Center on Trauma and Journalism. 
Kissinger lives in Milwaukee, Wis., along the shores of Lake Michigan, her favorite place to plunge, even on the coldest day in January. 
 
Connect with Meg:
Website: megkissinger.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissingermeg
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meg.kissinger
X: https://x.com/megkissinger1
Meg’s Book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250793775/whileyouwereout
 

Ronit’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Rumpus, The New York Times, The Iowa Review, Hippocampus, The Washington Post, Writer’s Digest, American Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her memoir WHEN SHE COMES BACK about the loss of her mother to the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and their eventual reconciliation was named Finalist in the 2021 Housatonic Awards Awards, the 2021 Indie Excellence Awards, and was a 2021 Book Riot Best True Crime Book. Her short story collection HOME IS A MADE-UP PLACE won Hidden River Arts’ 2020 Eludia Award and the 2023 Page Turner Awards for Short Stories. She earned an MFA in Nonfiction Writing at Pacific University, is Creative Nonfiction Editor at The Citron Review, and lives in Seattle with her family where she teaches memoir workshops and is working on her next book.
More about Ronit: https://ronitplank.com
 
Sign up for monthly podcast and writing updates: https://bit.ly/33nyTKd
Substack: https://substack.com/@ronitplank
Newsletter sign-up: https://ronitplank.com/#signup
 
Follow Ronit:
https://www.instagram.com/ronitplank/
https://twitter.com/RonitPlank
https://www.facebook.com/RonitPlank

Background photo credit: Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
Headshot photo credit: Sarah Anne Photography
Theme music: Isaac Joel, Dead Moll’s Fingers

Meg Kissinger joins Let’s Talk Memoir for a conversation about losing two siblings to suicide, using her skills as a journalist on her own family, America’s failed mental health system, stripping away prejudice about people with mental illness, the toxicity of shame, being curious and nonjudgmental, growing up with a sense of anxiety and vigilance, writing about people who’ve suffered with love, and her memoir While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence.
 
Also in this episode:
-false starts
-forgiveness
-depicting the dualities and complexities of those we love
 
Books mentioned in this episode:
Educated by Tara Westover
The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
Never Simple by Liz Scheier
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
 
Meg Kissinger, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and author, will help you see and think about people with mental illness in a new light. Her engaging memoir, “While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence,” has been praised for its incisive reporting, boundless compassion and surprising humor. It was named as an editors choice by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, Goodreads and Independent Booksellers Association. Audible chose it as the Best of the Year. 
Kissinger spent more than two decades traveling across the country to report on our nation’s failed mental health system, winning dozens of national awards. She is a popular speaker at universities, civic organizations and corporate events. She taught investigative reporting at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and is a trainer for the school’s Dart Center on Trauma and Journalism. 
Kissinger lives in Milwaukee, Wis., along the shores of Lake Michigan, her favorite place to plunge, even on the coldest day in January. 
 
Connect with Meg:
Website: megkissinger.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissingermeg
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meg.kissinger
X: https://x.com/megkissinger1
Meg’s Book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250793775/whileyouwereout
 

Ronit’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Rumpus, The New York Times, The Iowa Review, Hippocampus, The Washington Post, Writer’s Digest, American Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her memoir WHEN SHE COMES BACK about the loss of her mother to the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and their eventual reconciliation was named Finalist in the 2021 Housatonic Awards Awards, the 2021 Indie Excellence Awards, and was a 2021 Book Riot Best True Crime Book. Her short story collection HOME IS A MADE-UP PLACE won Hidden River Arts’ 2020 Eludia Award and the 2023 Page Turner Awards for Short Stories. She earned an MFA in Nonfiction Writing at Pacific University, is Creative Nonfiction Editor at The Citron Review, and lives in Seattle with her family where she teaches memoir workshops and is working on her next book.
More about Ronit: https://ronitplank.com
 
Sign up for monthly podcast and writing updates: https://bit.ly/33nyTKd
Substack: https://substack.com/@ronitplank
Newsletter sign-up: https://ronitplank.com/#signup
 
Follow Ronit:
https://www.instagram.com/ronitplank/
https://twitter.com/RonitPlank
https://www.facebook.com/RonitPlank

Background photo credit: Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
Headshot photo credit: Sarah Anne Photography
Theme music: Isaac Joel, Dead Moll’s Fingers

43 min