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Author Bios: Annie Seyler

I grew up in Hartford, CT in a neighborhood that straddled wealthy suburbs and underserved downtown communities. Having a foot in two worlds became a theme in my life that infused texture and complexity, but also a sense of not quite belonging anywhere.

In public elementary school at recess, I became the first girl to kick the ball over the distant playground tunnel—a feat which rendered me both famous and undatable. Soon that athleticism would help me survive six years in prep school, where I was a tall, percipient, used-clothing-clad misfit among confident, well-groomed offspring of America’s elite. But when my mother left our family to marry a farmer with ten children living in abject poverty in rural New York, suddenly my used clothing looked too fancy. Suddenly food wasn’t guaranteed.

At prep school and Cornell, I read Nietzsche on manicured quads and attended lectures in grand, ivy-covered halls while spending summers dumpster diving, working hay fields from dawn to dusk, and sleeping on the floor with my clothes in a cardboard box. On the farm I was immersed in scarcity and struggle, but I kept going back even after I was old enough to choose otherwise. I think what drew me was the absence of pretense. And the visceral human connections. Or maybe I was simply more afraid of the privileged world from which I’d come.

I’ve spent the decades since college in San Francisco, D.C., and Vermont, working on environmental and human health initiatives, falling in and out of love, and earnestly shaking off old ideas about what is and isn’t possible.

I wrote The Wisdom of Winter on my dining room floor in the wee hours before dawn with the shades open to the night sky and my dog asleep at my feet. The story was inspired by real-life moments, a few remarkable people, and a newfound sense that I wasn’t who I thought I was...that at 57, I was only just beginning to understand what this whole life thing might be about.

Contact Information:

Email: [email protected]

Author Annie Seyler


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