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When I began writing my memoir, "A Hard Silence," I set out to put my story to rest.To let it go. But writing through it has, instead, given me something tangible to hold on to. I know now that a completed memoir will not be the closing chapter on my experience. A story like mine doesn’t really come to an end. I will carry it with me, and my life will continue to be shaped by the impact of the events. By giving its pieces words and contour and structure and meaning, I’m practicing ways to carry my story differently. I’m learning to balance it in a way that lets me see beyond it to some of those other stories I still have to tell.

- Melanie Brooks

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