Telling the Unwanted Story: an Interview with Memoirist Jill Kandel

Challenging experiences are often what inspire … or drive … people to write. That is certainly the case for my friend and neighbor Jill Kandel, whose second memoir, The Clean Daughter, was published this spring. I recently interviewed her about her experience writing that difficult story, and our conversation was published today on the Brevity blog. Take a peek (below the pic) … and then do check out her beautiful book.

Book launch! Jill and me with most of our writing group

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

By Sarah Coomber

Your second memoir, The Clean Daughter: a Cross-Continental Memoir, takes us to five different countries, yet all of your experiences tie into figuring out your prickly relationship with your father-in-law. How did you get to the heart of that story?

This was a hard book to write, because it is really personal, and it touches on not only my life, but my in-laws, my husband, my children and my grandparents.

It circles around three themes. One of them is my relationship with my father-in-law, Izaak, who spent his entire life in the Netherlands. We had a difficult relationship, and I felt in order to understand him, I needed to understand the Netherlands better, so I did quite a bit of Netherlands research.

Izaak was a child in Nazi-occupied Holland, so I went to the Netherlands several times to research World War II, learning what it was…

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