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In this session, Jessica Pearce Rotondi will discuss the ways she combined journalistic reporting, family research, and travel writing with personal memoir to create hybridized nonfiction, with Q & A moderated by Olivia Taylor Smith, Executive Editor of Unnamed Press.
Jessica is the author of What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family's Search for Answers. Ron Chernow has called What We Inherit “A beautiful amalgam of memoir, travelogue, and investigative report that moves with the propulsive forward energy of a thriller." After her mother's passing, Jessica discovered troves of hidden family letters between her grandparents, her mother, and the U.S. government describing her family's decades-long search for her missing uncle, who disappeared during the CIA-led "Secret War" in Laos in 1972. In her book, Jessica breathes new life into these documents and uses the letters and transcripts to insert her mother and grandparents into the narrative.