Synopses & Reviews
Tracing the Desire Line follows a writer's journey of opening her marriage with her husband. The story — told through short memoirs, essays, lists, letters, and hybrid prose poems — is an intimate inquiry into one woman’s search for autonomy with detours into meditations on music, motherhood, religion, love, and wildness.
"Because Matthewson is so nimble-minded, her essays shift and mutate — in focus, voice, point of view, setting, and tone. Reading them, one feels the kaleidoscopic nature of genuine examination. What a brilliant debut." Barbara Hurd, author of Listening to the Savage: River Notes and Half-Heard Melodies
"In prose that is luminous, smart and lyrical, Matthewson has woven a powerful and immensely moving story of marriage, belonging, desire and the wildness that exists both outside of us and within. I read this book in a trance of astonishment and gratitude."
Robin MacArthur, author of Half Wild and Heart Spring Mountain
"In Tracing the Desire Line, Melissa Matthewson creates an achingly honest and raw portrait of a woman and a marriage traveling through a difficult season of growth and change. This beautiful memoir, smart and open and gorgeously written, marks the debut of an important literary voice."
Cari Luna, author of The Revolution of Every Day
“Matthewson’s prose pulls like the current of an easy river, and the yearnings she reveals burn like whiskey at dusk...For anyone whose wanting has always been too much, this is the book for you.”
Jill Talbot, author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir
About the Author
Melissa Matthewson’s essays have appeared in Guernica, DIAGRAM, American Literary Review, Mid-American Review, Bellingham Review, River Teeth, and The Rumpus among other publications. She has been awarded an AWP Intro Journals award in creative nonfiction as well as residencies and scholarships to PLAYA, Art Smith, Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, and Tin House. She holds degrees from the University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Montana, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches at Southern Oregon University.