Interview with writer Susan Rudnick

Writer Susan Rudnick joins me today to chat about
her memoir, Edna’s Gift: How My Broken
Sister Taught Me To Be Whole
.
Bio:
For over forty
years, Susan Rudnick, LCSW, has been listening to people tell their stories in her Manhattan practice of psychoanalysis
and psychotherapy. In Edna’s Gift she
tells hers. The seed for her memoir was “Coming Home to Wholeness,” a chapter
she contributed to Into the Mountain
Stream
, a book of personal reflections on psychotherapy and Buddhist
Experience. Susan, a Zen practitioner, has published haikus as well as articles
about psychotherapy in professional journals. Culled from thousands of
submissions, one of her haikus appears in New
York City Haiku: From the Readers of The New York Times
. Susan, a licensed
clinical social worker, has been a practicing psychotherapist in NYC for over
40 years. She and her husband live in Westchester NY, but often love to spend
time at their cabin in the Catskills. Being a parent is her greatest joy.
Welcome,
Susan. Please tell us about your current release.
This is a
memoir about how my mentally challenged sister was my life’s greatest teacher,
especially when I discovered my own, more hidden disability. We are all both
broken and whole. Meaning can be made of the chaos of trauma, and healing
happens when we open to the whole of it.
What
inspired you to write this book?
After my
sister Edna died, I realized that the impact of her life on me, needed to be
articulated and shared. People who are labeled as handicapped often live
invisible lives. This book is my way of making Edna visible.
Excerpt
from Edna’s Gift (near the beginning of the book):
 “Edna never thought of herself as having something
wrong with her. She referred to herself as handicapped, but that was a fact,
not a judgment. Oh, she knew there were things she couldn’t do. She understood
she was “differently abled” about sixty years before the term was invented.
Still, my eight year old self couldn’t possibly know that Edna’s way of being
just who she was, without judging herself, would become a model for me as I
grew up and struggled to find my own sense of self-acceptance.
What
exciting story are you working on next?
Short creative
nonfiction that spins out from my book.
When did
you first consider yourself a writer?
It is only
after I finished my book that I have begun considering myself a writer. In
truth I see myself more as a psychotherapist who writes. And that feels like a
very full identity.
photo credit: Chris Loomis
Do you
write full-time? If so, what’s your workday like? If not, what do you do other
than write and how do you find time to write?
Although in
my mid-seventies I still have a private practice of psychotherapy.
I write in
between: on the commuter train, on weekends and late night spurts, here and
there.
What would
you say is your interesting writing quirk?
To get this
book out, I frequently invoked the ten minute rule: YOU JUST HAVE TO WRITE FOR
TEN MINUTES! If you do more it’s gravy. And usually I do last longer.
As a
child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A ballet
dancer, drum majorette, and therapist. The third is what I became.!!
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
I have a
forthcoming piece coming out in the NY Times, with the working title: “The
Power of a Name: My Secret Life With MRKH.” You can read more about this
syndrome in the book!!
Links:
Thanks for
being here today!

3 thoughts on “Interview with writer Susan Rudnick

  1. Mary robinson says:

    It's a true heart warming book that made me realize how much we take for granted. I Thank you Susan for sharing your story with us all!!Regards: Custom thesis writing service

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