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May 23 , 2011

A Menopausal Memoir

Letters from Another Climate


The only extended, first-person narrative about menopause, A Menopausal Memoir: Letters from Another Climate explores the connection between menopause, mourning, and memory through nine fictional letters written to different addressees. The letters explain the author’s own experience of having a hysterectomy (without her permission) during surgery for endometriosis and being thrown into instant menopause. Herrmann expresses her experiences differently in each letter based on the recipient’s gender, sexual identity, and age, revealing the complexities of accepting menopause. Psychotherapists, psychologists, physicians, medical students, academics, and those interested in women’s health and women’s studies will receive insight into one woman’s experience and will learn how our bodies mold our sexual identity and shape many aspects of our lives.

Writing these letters from the point of view of a scholar engaged in personal narrative but not in the familiar narrative of a woman married with children, Herrmann examines her journey of loss, recovery, and healing through feminist theory. The letters in A Menopausal Memoir reveal many other issues, including:
  • the relationship between the female body and the meanings attached to it
  • the different ways women tell their stories about difficult experiences
  • negotiating the relationship between growing older and sexual identity
  • the body’s response(s) to the loss of organs that form/inform its history
  • the connection between body, identity, and disease A highly personal, yet theoretical, approach to the experience of menopause, A Menopausal Memoir explores how changes in the body affect your sexual identity, your relationships, and your feelings as a woman.

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