Untitled Memoir

This memoir begins with Arterian coming to the hospital to see her mother after she has suffered a severe stroke. A legal academic for decades, Arterian’s mother is aphasic after the injury, now lacking the sharp language abilities she always employed. The messy intimacies of caring for an injured parent is the heart of this work, yet the memoir weaves several narratives: Arterian undergoing surgery for repetitive motion injuries and thus derailing her career as a violinist, her experiences with chronic pain years later, as well as vignettes of her mother throughout her life—all alongside the stroke and its aftermath. The poet Louise Glück writes, “a woman’s body / is a grave; it will accept / anything.” Pursuing Glück’s sentiment to its ends, this memoir considers the overlaps between illness, gender, and trauma. Its woven narratives involve injury, attempts at healing, and the vital link between a mother and daughter.