Join us as we welcome two Seattle authors as they celebrate the release of their memoirs. In The Shelf Life of Ashes, Hollis Giammatteo sought a job working with the elderly, with the intention of finding models of healthy aging. And she failed. She chronicles her experiences with her wards, as well as the many trips she embarks upon when her mother, convinced she is dying, entreats her to come “home." Her Beautiful Brain is Ann Hedreen’s story of what it was like to become a mom just as her beautiful, brainy mother began to lose her mind to the unforgiving disease of Alzheimer’s.
A practicing Buddhist for over thirty years, Hollis Giammatteo has sought experiences that would challenge her practice, from teaching a method of writing to working with the elderly. She co-founded, managed, and wrote plays for The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, PA and for Rhode Island Feminist Theater. She has been granted an NEA, awarded a residency at the Cottages at Hedgebrook, and received a PEN/Jerard Award, honoring “a distinguished nonfiction work-in-progress for an emerging woman writer,” for her work On the Line: Memoir of a Peace Walk.
Ann Hedreen is a writer, filmmaker, teacher and voice of the radio podcast and blog, The Restless Nest. Together, she and her husband Rustin Thompson have made more than 100 films, including several full-length documentaries (including Quick Brown Fox: an Alzheimer's Story). She has an MFA from Goddard College and a BA from Wellesley College. Ann speaks and writes frequently about Alzheimer's disease. She also volunteers regularly as a control subject for Alzheimer's research, and has done five spinal taps for the cause. She and Rustin live in Seattle. They have two grown-up children.