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I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

A writer leaves her husband and new baby to sift through the past and carve out a future.

Guided by the author,

With the author,

Claire Vaye Watkins

Hosted by,

Karah Preiss

&

Guided by the authors,

Claire Vaye Watkins

&

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About

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

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Belletrist

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<club-desc-paragraph>A writer and new mother boards a flight to Reno, Nevada for a speaking engagement, but her temporary escape soon becomes a surreal and searching odyssey when she decides to linger out West. Distanced from the confines of her domestic duties, as well as a recent diagnosis of postpartum depression, she reconnects with old friends and wrestles with seemingly conflicting identities. She also confronts the ghosts of her past—her father, a member of a notorious cult; her mother; her first love—deep in the Mojave Desert where she was raised.<club-desc-paragraph>

<club-desc-paragraph>Seamlessly blending fiction with fact and humor with tragedy, author Claire Vaye Watkins—who shares a name with her narrator—raises questions about what it means to be a mother, a lover, an artist, and a woman. How can we reconcile our circumstances with our past selves, our desires, and our identity? Join the author and Belletrist Co-Founder Karah Preiss for an exploration of love, loss, and the winding path to wholeness.<club-desc-paragraph>

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<club-landing-h3>Inspiration for the Novel<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Karah and Claire discuss the novel’s themes of love, loss, and transformation, as well as the significance of its vast southwestern landscape.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>Claire’s Writing Process<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Claire speaks to the therapeutic value of art, the role of storytelling in families, and the search for meaning.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>Generations<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Claire describes incorporating her mother’s voice into her work. She also speaks to her father’s ties with The Manson Family and the disconnect between Charles Manson the myth and Charles Manson the man.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>Love & Darkness<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Claire explores what it means to “choose darkness,” how our choices impact others, and the value of unrequited love.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>Themes of Loss & Grief<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Karah and Claire discuss some Western culture’s messages about parenting, fear, and pain, as well as the regenerative power of grief.<club-landing-paragraph>

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