WINTHROP — Nationally acclaimed and best-selling writer Susan Conley will appear at the Bailey Public Library on Tuesday, July 12.

Conley intended to document her move to China with her husband and two young boys; but in 2007, she discovered lumps in her breasts. Her struggles are compiled in her new memoir, “The Foremost Good Fortune,” an O magazine Top 10 reads pick for this past February.

In a foreign land with foreign medical sensibilities, she found she had to push for immediate treatment. “I was compelled to be an advocate for myself and keep it together for my kids.”

She also found community in an unlikely place. “That was the other big thing for me, realizing that I had to ask for help, from friends that I hadn’t even known all that long and realizing that people were really there for me,” the author stated.

Conley is a Maine native whose work has been published in the New York Times, Daily Beast and the Paris, Harvard and North American reviews. As an editor at Ploughshares Magazine in Boston, she wrote book reviews and profiles. She taught creative writing and literature at several colleges, including Emerson College, Simmons College, the University of New England and within Harvard’s teachers as writers program.

After her second son was born, Conley and her husband, Tony, moved their family back to Portland, Maine, where she is teaching for The Telling Room, a nonprofit creative writing center for students ages 6 to 18 for which she served as executive director, as well as working on a fiction novel.

Following the success of “The Foremost Good Fortune,” Maine Today Media honored Conley with the Great Women of Maine Award.

The free discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 377-8673.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: