Summer Words: Heather Harpham And Her Difficult Road To 'Happiness'

Jun 15, 2018

Memoirist Heather Harpham, author of "Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After"
Credit Aspen Words

Author Heather Harpham’s memoir “Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After” is about her infant daughter’s life-threatening illness.  Harpham speaks Monday night on an Aspen Words’ Summer Words panel.

Harpham had to let five years pass before she could write about her daughter’s illness. She wasn’t ready to relive the pain. But after going back through updates to family members and notes to herself, she saw the experience in a new light.  


"Although it was under the umbrella of terror because your child’s life is at stake, it contained both powerfully beautiful moments and powerfully painful moments," she said.  

On the panel Monday night and in the workshop she’s teaching this week, Harpham wants to show her students the ability of memoir to connect people.

"What I think the primary job of memoir is to tell personal stories in a way that makes them meaningful to a much wider circle than one,” said Harpham.

The panel “Real Life Stories and How To Tell Them” will also include Aran and Margot Lee Shetterly and Beth Nguyen.