Absent Without Leave: A Travel Memoir of Strange Mourning

Susan Bradley Smith


This creative non-fiction essay is from a book in progress, a parenting memoir called ‘Hunting Flowers’. The edge with this memoir is that is written honestly in the (guilty) voice of a female academic who has 'run away' from home for work far too often—and gets into too much trouble, both at home and away. It covers two decades, five children, four continents, a few husbands, and more universities than sensible in any one life. Absent Without Leave in particular uses the confessional voice to tells stories not only against the self, but against the larger dramatis persona, the institutions and people we work with and for. The main thematic concern—is it ethical, this hunt for success, when we absent ourselves form our children?—is swallowed by the constant feminist nag: is this the only way to do it?


Creative non-ficiton

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.2.30


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Copyright (c) 2013 Susan Bradley Smith

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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by University of Groningen Library