This week on Here After with Megan Devine:
If I survived, you can too! Author Emi Nietfeld on the hollowness of the transformation narrative
The rags to riches success story is everywhere – usually with a side of trauma somewhere: the homeless child with mental health issues overcomes all the odds to win an Ivy league scholarship. After graduation, they continue to “rise above” their past by joining the world’s most famous tech company. If they can do it, anyone can.
It’s a story we hear over and over again. But what if those transformation stories actually hide some deeply screwed up practices? Author Emi Nietfeld joins us to explore our beliefs about resilience, and our weird fascination with stories of triumph.
Listen from this page & follow Here After with Megan Devine wherever you get your podcasts.
To submit your topic requests or questions by voicemail, call us at (323) 643-3768 or visit megandevine.co
In this episode we cover:
- The main problem with “survival” memoirs
- Who gets to survive? Who gets to thrive? Whose stories are believed?
- The underbelly of scholarship programs (hint: the more tragic your story, the more money you get)
- Why one successful person can undermine everyone else’s chances of being seen and believed
- How the practice of motivational interviewing could change the course of mental healthcare
Content note: this episode includes discussion of eating disorders, self harm, and hospitalization
About our guest:
Emi Nietfeld is the author of Acceptance, a memoir of survival that explores our beliefs about resilience, and our weird fascination with stories of triumph. Her essays have appeared in New York Times, Longreads, Vice, and Boulevard, they’ve been cited in The Best American Essays of 2021 and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
New episodes of #HereAfterPod air every Monday. Subscribe and listen on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you find your podcasts.
Tune in, listen, review, subscribe, and please share with everyone you know. Standing out in the vast sea of podcasts is HARD, and I need your help – together we can make things better, even when they can’t be made right.
Not sure where to find podcasts? We got you. You can listen for free at any of these sites: