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My Unsentimental Education

Debra Monroe | Longreads | October 1, 2015 | 3,487 words

Sex, longing, and coming of age in 1970’s Wisconsin.

Posted inBooks, First Chapters, Nonfiction, Story

My Unsentimental Education

“I wanted him to understand my life—that I’d been caught in the local pattern and found the safest way forward, but if I’d lived somewhere else I’d be someone else and still could.”
Photo: National Archives, Flickr

Debra Monroe | My Unsentimental Education, The University of Georgia Press | Oct. 2015 | 14 minutes (3,487 words)

A misfit in Spooner, Wisconsin, with its farms, bars, and strip joints, Debra Monroe left to earn a degree, then another, and another, vaulting into academia but never completely leaving her past behind. Her memoir My Unsentimental Education was published today, and our thanks to the University of Georgia Press for allowing us to reprint the chapter below. Two previous excerpts from the book have been long-listed for The Best American Essays (2011 and 2015), and an early excerpt also appeared on Longreads in 2013.  


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