Melissa Grunow


I Don't Belong Here description

Named one of the Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018 by Alternating Current Press's The Coil

“The greatest challenge for a writer is to appear emotionally naked on the page and make that seem completely natural.  Melissa Grunow does this with audacity, aplomb, and grace.  Grunow illuminates 21st century issues regarding sex, body image, emotional stability, and self-realization with a fearlessness that few others can match.  This is a book whose moment in history is exactly now.”
–Sue William Silverman, author of The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew

 “In these wise essays, Melissa Grunow brings to light the hidden, the forgotten, and the discarded days. Her agile sentences and fearless gaze reveal insights that reach past easy epiphany and toward a rare clarity that is a searching delight to read.” 
–Sonya Huber, author of Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System

 “Melissa Grunow's prose is a dazzling display of pathos, humor and everything in-between—like life itself. Landing somewhere between Sloane Crosley and Megan Stielstra—with a dash of David Sedaris—Grunow is a bold new voice for our time and to be savored by all.  We can all see slivers of ourselves in varying degrees throughout these pages. For better and for worse.”
–R.J. Fox, author of Awaiting Identification, Love & Vodka: My Surreal Adventures in Ukraine, and Tales from the Dork Side 

 “Melissa Grunow is a survivor. The essays in I DON'T BELONG HERE sing with a fierce and hard-won wisdom. In “Before and After,” Grunow writes, “Sometimes the world is one fire. Sometimes the world is under water.” Her sharp-eyed prose charts a course between these worlds, delivering us through pain and loss into a place of her own making, a place in the sun.”
–Susan McCarty, author of Anatomies

What does it mean to belong? In a place? With a person? To a family? Where do our senses of security and survival lie? I DON’T BELONG HERE ruthlessly investigates alienation during moments of transit and dislocation and their impact on women’s identity. These twenty essays—ranging from conventional to lyrical to experimental in form and structure—delve into the root causes of personal uncertainty and the aftershock effects of being a woman in an unsafe world. Provocative, authentic, intimate, and uncompromising, Melissa Grunow casts light on the unspeakable: sexuality, death, mental illness, trauma, estrangement, and disillusionment with precision and fortitude. 

Forthcoming from New Meridian Arts Press, September 2018

Praise for I Don't Belong Here