Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place

Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place

by Susan Wittig Albert

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What does it mean to belong to a place, to be truly rooted and grounded in the place you call home? How do you commit to a marriage, to a full partnership with another person, and still maintain your own separate identity? These questions have been central to Susan Wittig Albert's life, and in this beautifully written memoir, she movingly describes how she has experienced place, marriage, and aloneness while creating a home in the Texas Hill Country with her husband and writing partner, Bill Albert. Together, Alone opens in 1985, as Albert leaves a successful, if rootless, career as a university administrator and begins a new life as a freelance writer, wife, and homesteader on a patch of rural land northwest of Austin. She vividly describes the work of creating a home at Meadow Knoll, a place in which she and Bill raised their own food and animals, while working together and separately on writing projects. Once her sense of home and partnership was firmly established, Albert recalls how she had to find its counterbalance-a place where she could be alone and explore those parts of the self that only emerge in solitude. For her, this place was Lebh Shomea, a silent monastic retreat. In writing about her time at Lebh Shomea, Albert reveals the deep satisfaction she finds in belonging to a community of people who have chosen to be apart and experience silence and solitude.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292784390
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 07/15/2011
Series: Southwestern Writers Collection Series, Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 891 KB

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert is the author of popular mysteries, including the acclaimed China Bayles series; books for young adults; and books for women on life-writing and work. A graduate of the University of Illinois (Urbana) and the University of California at Berkeley, she is a former university English professor and administrator. In 1997, she founded the Story Circle Network, a nonprofit organization for women who want to write about their lives.

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Danville, Illinois


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Table of Contents

  • Prologue. Documenting a Life
  • Chapter One. Meadow Knoll: Getting Here, Alone Together
  • Chapter Two. Where in the World
  • Chapter Three. Moving Through, Moving On, Moving In
  • Chapter Four. Dwelling, Rooting, Learning
  • Chapter Five. Naming
  • Chapter Six. All Our Food Is Souls
  • Chapter Seven. Gaining, Losing
  • Chapter Eight. Right Livelihood
  • Chapter Nine. Alone, Together, Apart
  • Chapter Ten. Lebh Shomea: Getting Here, Alone
  • Chapter Eleven. Silence
  • Chapter Twelve. Seeing Through Time
  • Chapter Thirteen. Spirits of the Place: El Desierto de los Muertos
  • Chapter Fourteen. Plains Fare
  • Chapter Fifteen. Storms
  • Chapter Sixteen. The Kenedy Women
  • Chapter Seventeen. Belonging to the Community of the Land
  • Chapter Eighteen. In Place and Free
  • Notes

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