About the Book
It is 1965, the era of love, light—and revolution. While the romantic narrator imagines a bucolic future in an old country house with children running through the dappled sunlight, her husband plots to organize a revolution and fight a guerrilla war in the Catskills.
Their fantasies are on a collision course.
The clash of visions turns into an inner war of identities when the author embraces radical feminism; she and her husband are comrades in revolution but combatants in marriage; she is a woman warrior who spends her days sewing long silk dresses reminiscent of a Henry James novel. One half of her isn’t speaking to the other half.
And then, just when it seems that things cannot possibly get more explosive, her wilderness cabin burns down and Pamela finds herself left with only the clothes on her back.
From her vividly evoked existential childhood (“the only way I would know for sure that I existed was if others—lots of others—acknowledged it”) to writing her first children’s book on a sugar high during a glucose tolerance test, Pamela Jane takes the reader along on a highly entertaining personal, political, and psychological adventure.
Praise for An Incredible Talent for Existing:
“Jane has woven a richly empowering memoir that I highly recommend …a five-star read! – Story Circle Reviews
“This coming of age story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Pamela’s writing lulls the reader into her life . . . almost like sitting down to tea with someone very wise and well traveled to garner their wisdom.” Allie’s Opinions.com
“This memoir takes us into the heady, rollicking—and ultimately terrifying—sixties. Pamela takes us masterfully through this story of a lifelong writer struggling to emerge.”—Deborah Heiligman, author, Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, a National Book Award Finalist
“…incisive, funny, and touchingly candid evidence of the power of the stories we tell ourselves.”
—Howard Rheingold, author, The Virtual Community and Net Smart
“An Incredible Talent for Existing is harrowing story that invites the reader to experience the thrill and danger of the Sixties from a place of safety and acceptance. It’s the story of hundreds of thousands of women; our lives were huge experiments.”
—Tristine Rainer, Director, Center for Autobiographic Studies, author, The New Diary and Your Life as Story
Through the beauty in her language and the empowerment in her message, Jane has given us a book that will touch the life of every woman who has ever questioned who she is, where she is going, and what the future holds.”—Matilda Butler, Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story and Writing Alchemy: How to Write Fast and Deep
“Her prose reads like poetry and her imagination is like magic!”
—Jacopo della Quercia, author, The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy and License to Quill
“…a gem, a well-written and powerful memoir. I highly recommend it.” – Sherry Meyer, author
“Her prose reads like poetry and her imagination is like magic!” – Jacopo della Quercia, author, The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy and License to Quill
“Pamela has a way of describing things that I never knew existed, with eloquence that I had never read before. Pamela’s story is inducement to all writers who aren’t afraid to take their past experiences and use them towards the future of her dreams…her memoir is a lovely, simple, straightforward story that will touch the heart…” – a comfychair
“After reading hundreds of memoirs it is the first one I’ve found that talks about this shadow side of the sixties. We all know the images of the groovy sixties. The exuberant rock and roll, hallucinogenic drugs, and soldiers in jungles waiting for helicopters to evacuate the wounded. By reading Pamela’s memoir, the rest of us have the opportunity to go into her heart and mind, behind the flashy images of Woodstock and hippies.” – Jerry Waxler, author The Memoir Revolution
“With an arresting honesty and an inquiring mind that always seems to race through time and space, Pamela Jane’s story unfolds and folds back upon itself…what distinguishes a mediocre or even good story-teller from a great one, is when we find ourselves unable to put a book down and are fully entranced by not merely the subject matter but the very words chosen that dance across each page–”Linda Appleton Shapiro, author She’s Not Herself
“…absolutely fascinating. I started and finished the book in an entire sitting, due entirely to the magical way Pamela Jane weaves her story…this is a book not to miss. ” Karen Jones Gowen, author of Farm Girl and Lighting Candles in the Snow.