Imaginary Mother or Real Mom? Hybrid Memoir to be Released on Memoir Day, August 31st

Memoir is one of today’s hottest genres in an era when truth-telling is more rare, and more prized than ever. Award-winning author tackles themes of memory and imagination, courage and regret, and the challenging quest for “home” in a nomadic life.

What is memory? How much of what we remember actually happened? How much is wishful thinking, added to and embellished over the years? These are questions you’ll be asking yourself while reading The Mother I Imagined, The Mom I Knew. In the tradition of Patrick Dennis, Truman Capote, and of Tennessee Williams’ memory play, The Glass Menagerie, Paul Alan Fahey’s memoir recounts a son’s loving yet often maddening relationship with his mother over four decades. Told in a hybrid mix of memoir, short fiction, and poetry, the author tells of their nomadic existence in the 1950s; his mother’s four-month visit in Africa while he completed his teaching contract; and the last decade of her life.

Paul Alan Fahey ( wrote about his mother for years. Sometimes a scene would begin to play in his imagination—not quite a memory, but dialogue and setting inspired by real events. Sometimes only a poem could capture the otherwise illusive quality of recollection. And sometimes only the rigor of non-fiction narrative could expose truths and untangle ancient snarls.

Now an accomplished author with multiple titles—and multiple awards, as a seven-time winner of the Lillian Dean First Page competition, and two-time winner of the Rainbow Award—to his name, Fahey sat down to review these pieces, and realized he had a gem in the rough. Could the segments be brought together as a whole? Yes, and triumphantly so.

The book has a dual-universe theme as boldly announced in the title itself: one mother is imagined; one is real. And the theme is carefully wrought throughout the book’s visuals, too. The front cover offers a fictional depiction of a female traveler; the back cover shows a photograph of the author’s mother on one of her trips with her son. The interior is set in two different, carefully chosen typefaces.

Several publishers were interested in the book, but Fahey wanted to find the right team to work with to cut, polish, and set the jewel. Enter Mindprints Literary Press—a re-boot of a press he founded while a…

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