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Distributed for Autumn House Press



 A personal lyrical essay collection by a winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir.
“I am a butterfly at half-mast. Muscles coiled like springs. I have not unwound yet,” writes Julie Marie Wade in Otherwise. In this series of intimate, braided essays written throughout her 30s, Wade traces her own unwinding and becoming through probing lyricism. As a daughter, lover, lesbian, and writer, she invites readers on a journey of self-discovery framed by memory, literature, and popular culture. Touching and tender, empathic and insightful, Otherwise revels in its author's self-acceptance at the threshold of mid-life.

176 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2023

Biography and Letters

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

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“‘Once a woman dreamed she was a butterfly,’ Wade writes in Otherwise, her multi-tongued collection that both casts and breaks spells. These are essays about looking inside, coming out. About language’s fluidity. Poetry that is prose, prose that is poetry. Gender and identity. Beauty and power. Fracture and flourishing. Or maybe a butterfly, Wade writes, dreamed she was a woman.”

Karen Salyer McElmurray, author of Wanting Radiance

“The essays in Wade’s gorgeous collection rearrange the boundaries of form and invent new shapes to accommodate the wildness and tenderness of an authentic self in the process of becoming. Her intimate, up-close portraits are both unnervingly truthful and, at the same time, studies in complexity and compassion. From stories of a decentered younger self, required to try on the assumptions of heterosexual norms, to sharp-eyed critiques of the violence those norms do to the soul, Wade’s work illustrates the courage and creativity necessary to come into one’s own hard won rage—and joy.”

Lia Purpura, author of All the Fierce Tethers

“Wade’s essays rule. Their delightful lightness, their acuity, their roving intelligence, their handling of fragments, their depth. Otherwise proves—again—that she’s one of our very best and most adventurous essayists. Lucky you, discovering or rediscovering her now, holding this book at this very moment, the two of us meeting in this sentence! Make the commitment now to getting more Wade in your life. If you’re not completely, 100% satisfied, I’ll give you your money back.”

Ander Monson

Table of Contents

Meditation 32
Still Life with Guns
Meditation 35
How Do You Like Them
Nine Innings
Meditation 36
Prose & Cons: Considerations from a Woman with Two Genres
Meditation 38


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