"The Mighty Queens of Freeville" by Amy Dickinson


Reading a biography, autobiography or personal memoir allows us to add someone else’s life to our own.  We can follow them through the pages and share their struggles and pleasures, victories and defeats. Through autobiography we can get to know someone well, even strike up an intimate relationship with a great person, a Helen Keller, Ulysses Grant or Charlie Chaplin. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-837065.mp3

Sometimes their cautionary tales will be so good that we learn to avoid similar mistakes.  In her new memoir, “The Mighty Queens of Freeville”, Amy Dickinson recounts the stresses and analyzes the forces that took her through marriage, divorce and raising a daughter as a single mother — all experiences common in our society. During her marriage she lived in London, later moved to Washington, DC with daughter Emily.  She also worked her way through several jobs (including, at one point, receptionist and then a commentator at National Public Radio) and periods of unemployment. But Amy emerges steady and victorious.  Today she writes a nationally-syndicated advice column.  She’s now a regular on NPR’s news quiz “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” (heard on WSKG Saturdays at 11:00 AM) and on “Talk of the Nation” (WSQX weekdays from 2:00 to 4:00 PM).  But it’s clear that she might not have landed with her feet on the ground if that ground hadn’t been in the village of Freeville, NY, about fifteen minutes up the road from Ithaca.