The Personal Essay

Stealing: Life in America: A Collection of Essays by Michelle ...

A great essay persuades. Makes us re-think our convictions. Often motivates us to act. Emerson’s “Self Reliance” comes to mind.

A great, personal essay does all this through the author’s observational lens and firsthand experience navigating the world. It engenders empathy which is the first step towards making any kind of lasting change. Both for ourselves and for others.

My friend Michelle Cacho-Negrete wrote a beautiful collection of personal essays entitled “Stealing: Life In America” Centered around her being a “street kid”; being raised by an immigrant Jewish mother in Brooklyn during the 1950’s and 1960’s, here are some samples of her crisp and insightful prose…

I can, however, imagine the moment after death: a quiet state, perhaps close to what we sometimes achieve during meditation; the absence of fear, worry, hate and anger. Or maybe there is only emptiness.

None of us can return to the past, especially one not ours, except in dreams and memories and sometimes in madness.

I understood that living my life would involve living with uncertainty, without answers, with secrets that would forever remain secrets, and that I needed to learn to be comfortable with it. I understood, also, to not judge the love of another by what I wanted, but by what they were capable of giving.

The book goes out of print in October. (I will always love print over digital.) You can find copies on Amazon HERE while they last. Get one. You’ll be glad you did.

P.S. – You can also email me at I’ll put you in touch with Michelle to purchase a copy directly from her.

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