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.
Praise for Otherwise
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.
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.
“Once a woman dreamed she was a butterfly,” Julie Marie Wade writes in Otherwise, her multi-tongued collection that both casts and breaks spells. These 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.