As Jennifer Bowering Delisle was on her path through infertility towards motherhood, she was simultaneously losing her own mother to a rare degenerative neurological disease and an approaching medically-assisted death. The lyric essays in Micrographia explore how losses can collide and reverberate both within our own lives and in our relationships with the rest of the world. How much do we share of our stories, and how much do we understand of what others are experiencing? Ultimately, this is a book about connection; “micrographia” is both the term for the diminished handwriting caused by neurological disease, and the narrative fragments offered here.
"Write what you want to keep,” says Jennifer Bowering Delisle. In these brilliant lyric essays about becoming a mother after infertility and miscarriage, and losing a mother to a cruel degenerative disease, she preserves for us the feeling of “both wishing and losing”—sweet and tart as a summer’s worth of raspberries, powerful enough to linger like heat on stone. – Susan Olding, author of Big Reader: Essays
"Micrographia is an extraordinary collection of sharply-crafted lyric essays. Jennifer Bowering Delisle exhibits a poet’s ear for resonance while skillfully weaving a structure that allows the cumulative power of small, carefully witnessed moments to billow into a powerful and moving story. Delisle writes by letting the smallest of details say what only they can say, but without shying away from the biggest of questions: "In this one life, what stories do you need heard? What do you want to make?" I couldn’t help but feel that Delisle writes with an ear tuned toward her readers’ own unimaginable losses. This is not a book only about her own grief, but a smart and capacious exploration of the vulnerabilities implicit in being alive—in bodies, in families, with losses we bear across generations. The care, both ethical and aesthetic, taken in crafting these essays is palpable in these pages. Micrographia delivers what it promises: a whole story about what it means to be human inscribed in the shell of a walnut. Reading Micrographia, I was reminded what the best writing—by which I mean not simply the most skillful but also the most ontologically curious and emotionally generous writing—can do." – Lisa Martin, author of Believing is not the same as Being Saved