Otherwise: Essays

Winner of the 2022 Nonfiction Prize, Selected by Lia Purpura

US List Price: $18.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

Otherwise: Essays

Winner of the 2022 Nonfiction Prize, Selected by Lia Purpura

US List Price: $18.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

About the Book

“I am a butterfly at half-mast. Muscles coiled like springs. I have not unwound yet,” writes Julie Marie Wade in Otherwise. In this series of intimate, braided essays written throughout her 30s, Wade traces her own unwinding and becoming through probing lyricism. As a daughter, lover, lesbian, and writer, she invites readers on a journey of self-discovery framed by memory, literature, and popular culture. Touching and tender, empathic and insightful, Otherwise revels in its author’s self-acceptance at the threshold of mid-life.

Hear Julie read from Otherwise for the Cultivating Voices New Books Showcase, a virtual reading series created by Beth and Sandy Yannone.


Praise for Otherwise

2024 Finalist for CLMP Firecracker Award in Creative Nonfiction
2024 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction

In the superb autobiographical essays of Otherwise, Julie Marie Wade illuminates sexual orientation and body image issues. . . .  Otherwise is a stunning and nuanced memoir-in-essays that insists on queer visibility.
—Foreword Reviews

The essays in Julie Marie Wade’s gorgeous collection, Otherwise, rearrange the boundaries of form and invent new shapes to accommodate the wildness and tenderness of an authentic self in the process of becoming.Her intimate, up-close portraits (of suburban- dwellers, church-infused Seattle, the 80s to name a few) are both unnervingly truthful and, at the same time, studies in complexity and compassion. From stories of a decentered younger self, required to try on the assumptions of heterosexual norms, to sharp-eyed critiques of the violence those norms do to the soul, Wade’s work illustrates the courage and creativity necessary to come into one’s own hard won rage—and joy.
—Lia Purpura

“Once a woman dreamed she was a butterfly,” Julie Marie Wade writes in Otherwise, her multi-tongued collection that both casts and breaks spellsThese are essays about looking inside, coming out. About language’s fluidity. Poetry that is prose, prose that is poetry. Gender and identity. Beauty and power. Fracture and flourishing. Or maybe a butterfly, Wade writes, dreamed she was a woman.
—Karen Salyer McElmurray

Julie Marie Wade’s essays rule. Their delightful lightness, their acuity, their roving intelligence, their handling of fragments, their depth. Otherwise proves—again—that she’s one of our very best and most adventurous essayists. Lucky you, discovering or rediscovering her now, holding this book at this very moment, the two of us meeting in this sentence! Make the commitment now to getting more Julie Marie Wade in your life. If you’re not completely, 100% satisfied, I’ll give you your money back.
—Ander Monson

Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade earned a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She is the author of many books […]

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