Visiting Speaker: Jeannie Vanasco


Jeannie Vanasco is the author of memoirs, Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl (2019) and The Glass Eye(2017).  Vanasco visited Professor Page’s class, American Memoir, after they had read her memoir, The Glass Eye, whichexplores her grief for her late dad and his grief for his late daughter, Jeanne. She shared with students her process, ethos, and advice on constructing a memoir. Vanasco’s visit proved to be an extraordinary experience as students were able to connect the author with the book they had just read for class. Student Cynthia Constantinou writes, “the first thing I noticed were the color-coded binders behind her in her office, which she had written about at length in The Glass Eye. I was struck by how well I felt I knew her already after reading her memoir, despite having never really met her” and another student Alice Baker writes, “seeing the materials she used to write the memoir helped to demystify the writing process.” Despite having memoirs that are deeply personal and emotionally taxing, her advice for students proved to be incredibly profound as many were left inspired and ready to start writing. Student Cassandra Barnhart writes, “her insight into memoir and creative writing in general was something that I’ll carry with me not only throughout college, but also into the rest of my writing career.” 



By Abia Naseem

B.A English ‘21

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