Skip to content
CLMP Publishers Literature & Fiction - Literature

$20.00 Regular price
Unit price

Awakenings: Stories of Body and Consciousness

ISBN: 9781942004608
Binding: Paperback
Author: Edited by: Diane Gottlieb
Foreword by: Gayle Brandeis
Pages: 226
Trim: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Published: 10/27/2023

What happens when 49 authors sit down to craft their experiences of living in a body? Magic! Curated by Diane Gottlieb, with a foreword by Gayle Brandeis, AWAKENINGS: STORIES OF BODIES & CONSCIOUSNESS is truly a magical anthology of short essays, filled with trauma and triumph; pleasures and pain; challenges, resilience, and growth. A host of seasoned writers, including Alison McGhee, Jesse Lee Kercheval, and Jacqueline Doyle, alongside emerging artists, such as Camille U. Adams, Terry Opaleck, and Sarita Sidhu, share their hearts, their limbs, their breasts--even their teeth!--on the page in this singularly stunning array of diverse voices, journeys, and literary forms. No matter where you turn in this tribute to the miracles, mishaps, and mysteries of the body, you will be moved. Awakenings will sometimes make you laugh, often make you cry, and will always spur a deep appreciation for the flesh and bones that carry us all through life.


Diane Gottlieb MSW, MEd, MFA is a writer and educator, whose words appear in 2023 Best Microfiction, River Teeth, SmokeLong Quarterly, HuffPost, The Rumpus, Barrelhouse, Identity Theory, Hippocampus Magazine, Split Lip, Chicago Review of Books, Bending Genres and 100-Word Story, among other literary journals and anthologies. She is the winner of Tiferet Journal's 2021 Writing Contest in the nonfiction category, was longlisted for the 2023 Wigleaf Top 50, and nominated for Best Small Fiction 2023. She is the Prose/CNF Editor of Emerge Literary Journal

Gayle Brandeis is the author, most recently, of the essay collection Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Loss (Overcup Press). Earlier books include the memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis (Beacon Press), the novel in poems, Many Restless Concerns (Black Lawrence Press), shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Award, the poetry collection The Selfless Bliss of the Body (Finishing Line Press), the craft book Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne) and the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won the PEN/Bellwether Prize, Self Storage (Ballantine), Delta Girls (Ballantine), and My Life with the Lincolns (Henry Holt BYR), chosen as a state-wide read in Wisconsin. Gayle's essays, poetry, and short fiction have been published in places such as The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, O (The Oprah Magazine), The Rumpus, Salon, and more, and have received numerous honors, including the Columbia Journal Nonfiction Award, a Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award, Notable Essays in Best American Essays 2016, 2019, and 2020, the QPB/Story Magazine Short Story Award and the 2018 Multi Genre Maverick Writer Award. She was named A Writer Who Makes a Difference by The Writer Magazine, and served as Inlandia Literary Laureate from 2012-2014, with a focus on bringing writing workshops to underserved communities. She teaches in the MFA programs at Antioch University and University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. She lives in Highland Park, Illinois.


"Awakenings is a celebration of the body, the whole body. These essays astonish with tales of teeth, arms, hips, gallbladders, lungs, toes and hair. And hearts, too. These are deeply moving stories about how we move through life and make sense of it all. More than anything, this collection celebrates voices. 'Speaking out is a revolutionary act,' writes Sarita Sidhu. Awakenings is a spectacular revolutionary chorus." - Ana Maria Spagna

"With subjects ranging from mikveh to miscarriage, Awakenings: Stories of Body & Consciousness is an honest and intimate collection of personal stories about struggles with physical frailty, shame, abuse, and body image. For many of the authors, recollecting the past through writing becomes a path towards acceptance and healing. As Alison McGhee says, 'Body, oh body, she lives inside you but she doesn't always remember, does she?' Reading these essays helps us remember what it means to belong to a body, to cherish and honor the most vulnerable aspects of ourselves." - Joan Baranow

"Ever since we evolved enough to become conscious of our physical selves, the human body has been 206 different bones of contention. And that has never been more true than today, when the challenges of the body, and the battles over the body, define so much of our discourse. In Awakenings, forty-nine writers bear brilliant witness to the perils and promise of the human organism. Speaking from a wide range of identities and experiences, they write of the body in childhood, the body bearing children, body differences, body dysmorphia, the body in intimate or social relation to other bodies, the body aging, and all the shocks the flesh is heir to. They testify to the body violated and the body rightfully reclaimed. Journeying through this book, you will feel yourself intrigued and awakened. These writers show us how we can empower our own embodiment." - David Groff

"Awakenings is more than an anthology. This collection is an offering, a chorus of voices carefully orchestrated, singing and howling, sometimes in harmony, other moments in acapella or hushed string ensemble. No matter, you'll stay for the entire concert and find yourself forever altered after. The book launches with 'The Body Knows' by Alison McGhee, tugging line by line—through meditation, incantation, song. Essay after essay spans body territory from violation to self-acceptance. I'm left with my own body in sway from the voltage of story, tender and profound, each approached with impeccable craft. Awakenings is part of a necessary conversation in our world and will linger in my heart." - Rebecca Evans

"This fascinating collection of short pieces, as various as human existence, connects mind and body. More importantly it connects our individual selves to others, as we are shown in brief flashes what it is like to inhabit another body and the unique interpretation that each person brings to this experience." - Shlomit Fuhrer, MD