I’m always happy to be a part of the WOW! Women on Writing blog book tour. This tour is for Breaking the Silence: A Memoir by Nancy King. Nancy has written about her brutal and abusive childhood and has succeeded in making it readable and accessible, which is hard to do. She has obviously put the time into healing her trauma, which comes through on the page. Never underestimate how much of you ends up in your writing. How much of your emotion as the writer translates to the reader. This book shares an experience that was extremely difficult and awful, and no child should ever endure, but does so in a way that the reader isn’t left feeling like an extension of the trauma. It reminded me of reading A Child Called It, The Lost Boy, and A Man Named Dave by Dave Pelzer. Memoirs of a child who grew up living in extreme neglect and abuse. I applaud writers who can share these intense feelings and experiences and have done the personal work to make it possible.
One approach Nancy takes is sharing several stories from across her life, which provides happier moments along with the brutal home life as well as the larger world’s sexism and antisemitism that was occurring. She also keeps the chapters short, allowing the reader not to get weighed down and stuck.
My favorite chapter was A Moment of Joy. While attending summer camp, young Nancy signed up to be part of a work detail laying telephone lines. She was small for fourteen and a girl. Everyone else who signed up were teenage boys. The work was hard and exhausting, but she stuck with it and eventually had her chance to shine. As an avid tree climber, she was light enough to climb up a tree to secure the lines. All the boys were too heavy to perform the task. This earned her respect and camaraderie from the other workers on her team. Stories like this allow Nancy to show the resiliency and grit a survivor has. And it made me do a little fist pump.
Too many children experience abusive childhoods. Reading about the gumption and strength it takes for someone to rise out of that mire and thrive is both challenging, and at the same time, you can’t help but cheer that induvial on in her wins. For those who have experienced something like this, the connection to another person through their words means so much. That’s the power and value of storytelling.
I’ve included more info below about Nancy’s other writing and the larger blog tour.
About Breaking the Silence:
Secrets. Lies. Silences. Stories told by parents and their families to protect themselves. A father who defends his wife despite her damage to their daughter’s health and welfare. A mother, shielded by her husband, who perpetuates murderous acts of violence against the daughter, and keeps secret her husband’s sexual “play” with the young girl.
And yet … Nancy King, determined to learn the truth of her childhood and the heartbreaking effects it has had on her adult life, uncovers the secrets. Sees through the lies. Breaks the silence.
Empowered by the stories she told herself as a child, she learns to use stories as part of her work as a university professor teaching theater, drama, world literature, and creative expression. Gradually, with the help of body work and therapy, she finds her voice. Says no to abuse and abusers. Reclaims herself and life. Writes a memoir.
She climbs mountains. Weaves tapestries. Writes books. Makes friends. Creates a meaningful life.
This is her story.
About Author Nancy King from the author herself!
I was born in Brooklyn, NYC. From the time I was 8 years old, until I left for college at 17, I traveled by myself into Manhattan to take a dance, theatre, or music lesson. After class I was free to wander about the City until I had to leave for home at 4:30. I ate in small Mom & Pop ethnic restaurants, savoring food I could neither spell nor pronounce. Theatre and dance tickets in the balconies were cheap and museums were free. All I needed were two nickels for the train rides, a nickel in case I had to make a phone call, and a quarter for lunch. The City was mine to explore. These years made an indelible impression on me in many ways: I enjoyed being with a diverse group of people, attending a variety of arts performances, and making my way in unfamiliar worlds with confidence and curiosity.
Early experiences with abuse both at home and school led me to becoming a teacher, writer, playwright, and essayist, always focusing on issues of empowerment. I have taught creative writing, storymaking, drama, and literacy workshops in schools, universities, professional development programs, prisons, Head Start, mental hospitals, recreational centers, programs for children and adults with learning differences, and older adult programs in the US and abroad.
In 1985 I was diagnosed with a rare and anomalous form of leukemia. When treatment allowed me to think in terms of years rather than months, and ten years after becoming a full professor at the University of Delaware, I received my PhD, in multi-disciplinary studies focusing on literature, psychology, and philosophy.
As an award-winning author of seven books of nonfiction, my focus has always been on developing creative expression, arts-based approaches to learning, and student-centered learning. I have also written five novels, one of which, The Stones Speak, has been optioned for a movie. The focus in all of my writing and teaching has always been on empowerment. My newest book, a memoir, Breaking the Silence, is about the healing power of stories.
Follow the author online on her website.
— Blog Tour Calendar
November 29th @ The Muffin
Join us at The Muffin for an author interview, giveaway, and blog tour launch post for Nancy King’s Memoir “Breaking the Silence”
November 30th @ Mindy McGinnis
Mindy McGinnis interviews Nancy King about her recently published memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Don’t miss this engaging interview!
December 8th @ Lost Wisp of Cosmic Dust
Sreevarsha Sreejith shares her review of Nancy King’s memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Stop by Instagram to learn more!
December 9th @ KnottyNeedle Creative
Judy reviews and shares her thoughts after reading “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. Find out what she thinks about this recently released memoir.
December 10th @ Madeline Sharples Choices
Fellow memoirist Madeline Sharples spotlights Nancy King’s “Breaking the Silence” on her blog today. Readers will be inspired by this newly released memoir!
December 13th @ Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interviews
Lisa Haselton reviews memoirist Nancy King about her recently released “Breaking the Silence”. Readers won’t want to miss this opportunity to be inspired!
December 16th @ Word Magic: All About Books
Today’s book spotlight at Word Magic is Nancy King’s memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Readers will also hear from Wisconsin student Carmen Otto as she shares her thoughts after reading this insightful story.
December 17th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto
WOW!’s very own Crystal Otto shares her insight into the beautiful and inspiring memoir, “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King.
December 20th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Author Anthony Avina spotlight’s the newly released memoir “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. Find out more about this moving memoir and it’s inspiring author today!
December 24th @ The Faerie Review
Lily at the Faerie Review shares her book review of “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. This is a memoir about a mountain climbing author who has inspired many (despite all odds)!
December 26th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Author Anthony Avina reviews “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. Find out more about this moving memoir and Anthony’s thoughts after reading it!
December 27th @ Christy Flutterby
Fellow author Christy O’Callaghan reviews Nancy King’s “Breaking the Silence” and shares her thoughts with readers on her blog. Find out more about this moving memoir and it’s resilient author!
December 28th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Wisconsin mother and healthcare worker Michelle DelPonte couldn’t wait to get her hands on Nancy King’s memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Today Michelle will share her review of this touching memoir. Stop at Bring on Lemons to learn more!
January 1st @ Boots Shoes and Fashion
Readers at Boots Shoes and Fashion will be enlightened as Linda interviews Nancy King about her newly released memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn from someone who has overcome the odds!
January 2nd @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Fellow memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro hosts Nancy King and “Breaking the Silence” as today’s feature book on her blog!