Gayle Brandeis and Emily Maloney: Two Essayists in Conversation (In-Store Event)

We are looking forward to hosting an evening with two North Shore acclaimed essayists, Gayle Brandeis and Emily Maloney. They will be discussing their respected collections of essays, Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Loss and Cost of Living: Essays. When one of Ms. Brandeis' essays won the Columbia Journal Nonfiction Prize, judged by Emily Maloney, the two women connected and are excited to share in conversation their thoughts about the embodiment of the writing life and toll our healthcare system takes on our lives. This event is free with registration, please CLICK HERE to register.

More About the Books: In Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Loss, PEN/Bellwether Prize-winning writer Gayle Brandeis' essays explore both the writing life and the embodied life, along with potent intersection between the two. From the title essay investigating the connection between writing and breath to the final essay, which delves into Brandeis' experience with long-haul Covid and its impact on her creative voice, this collection is infused with the urgency of mortality, thrumming with grief, authenticity, and a deep love for both language and the world of the senses.

Cost of Living is a shocking, often slyly humorous, and brilliant examination of just what exactly our troubled healthcare system asks us to pay, as well as a look at what goes on behind the scenes at our hospitals and in the minds of caregivers. When we fall ill, our lives are itemized on a spreadsheet. A thousand dollars for a broken leg, a few hundred for a nasty cut while cooking dinner. Then there are the greater costs for even greater misfortunes. The car accidents, breast cancers, blood diseases, and dark depressions. When Emily Maloney was nineteen, she tried to kill herself. An act that would not only cost a great deal personally, but also financially, sending her down a dark spiral of misdiagnoses, years spent in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices, and tens of thousands owed in medical debt. To work to pay off this crippling burden, Emily becomes an emergency room technician. Doing the grunt work in a hospital and taking care of patients at their most vulnerable moments, chronicling these interactions in searingly beautiful, surprising ways.

More About the Essayists: Gayle Brandeis is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write and the novels The Book of Dead Birds, which won the Bellwether Prize for Fiction of Social Engagement (judged by Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, and contest founder Barbara Kingsolver), Self StorageDelta Girls, and My Life with the Lincolns, which received a Silver Nautilus Book Award and was chosen as a state wide read in Wisconsin. Her most recent books include the poetry collection, The Selfless Bliss of the Body. You can find out more about her at

Emily Maloney has had her work appear in Glamour, Virginia Quarterly Review, Best American Essays, and the American Journal of Nursing, among others. She has worked as a dog groomer, pastry chef, general contractor, tile setter, and catalog model and has sold her ceramics at art fairs. Maloney has twice been awarded a MacDowell Fellowship. She lives in Evanston, Illinois. Her books include Burn This House Down and Cost of Living. You can find out more about here at


Event date: 

Thursday, May 18, 2023 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Loss By Gayle Brandeis Cover Image
ISBN: 9798985652710
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: Overcup Press - February 7th, 2023

In Drawing/Breath: Inhales and Exhales on Body and Word, PEN/Bellwether Prize-winning writer Gayle Brandeis' essays explore both the writing life and the embodied life, along with potent intersection between the two.