Synopses & Reviews
Samantha Dunn used to live for the feeling of wind blowing in her hair and the powerful intoxication of her horse's steady gallop. A tug of Harley's leathery reins could instantly eradicate mounting bills, unfinished work, and the reality of a troubled marriage from her mind. But one day, as she was leading Harley across a stream in a picturesque California canyon, he panicked, knocked her to the ground, and trampled her--nearly severing her leg in the process. Dunn had always been "accident prone"--but in the aftermath of this incident, she began to analyze the details of her life and her propensity for accidents. Was she really just a klutz? Or could there be some underlying emotional reason she was always putting her life in danger? A blend of personal narrative and of research about what drives some people to have more accidents than others, Not by Accident is an insightful, incisive memoir that helps bridge the gap in understanding that exists on the concept of accident proneness.
"Dunn's clear prose and lively recall of her calamities make for an effortless read."
"Witty, smart, droll, moving, and always entertaining, Dunn's book is nothing short of a thoroughly enjoyable triumph . . ."
"I loved this book."
"Samantha Dunn pulls no punches in this tough, witty, and deeply personal memoir of a brave woman's moment of crisis as she examines the parts played by the elements or risk, identity, and the unexamined life in her own catastrophe, and the unexpected requirements of healing. A beautiful, necessary book."
"The book you hold in your hands is more than a moving example of art as healing; it's a perfect triumph."
"Ms. Dunn is the storyteller we all one day want to be: a writer unafraid of the less flattering truths, a writer keen to know why the up is at times down, a writer undaunted by the mysteries peculiar to this planet, a writer for whom the easy answers are no answers at all."
--Lee K. Abbott
After suffering a nearly fatal riding accident, lifelong klutz Samantha Dunn felt compelled to examine just what it was inside herself--and other people--that invited carelessness and injury.
• Anticipated national print coverage by Glamour, O Magazine, and Women's Sports and Fitness • Q&A with author in the Los Angeles Times • Feature about author in the Orange County Register • Anticipated broadcast attention from KPCC (an NPR affiliate), and KTLA's Morning Show • Author will promote the book through her extensive author network: UCLA Writers Program website Q&A, PEN Center USA, Idyllwild Arts newsletter • Targeted outreach to best-selling authors with large social media audiences who are personal friends: Cheryl Strayed, John Hodgman, Sandra Tsing Loh, Meghan Daum, Darin Strauss, Pam Houston, Susan Orlean, Hope Edelman, Janet Fitch, Andrew Solomon • Promotion via social media: Twitter, Facebook
About the Author
Samantha Dunn is the author of Failing Paris, a finalist for the PEN West Fiction Award in 2000, and the memoir Faith in Carlos Gomez: A Memoir of Salsa, Sex and Salvation. Her essays have appeared in numerous national publications, including the Los Angeles Times, O Magazine, Ms., and Salon. She teaches at the Idyllwild Arts Center and in the UCLA Extension Writers Program, where she was named 2011 Instructor of the Year. Dunn lives in Orange, California.