After forty years of marriage, Jill and Don Stegman had it all—two beautiful children, a stable relationship, fulfilling careers. But a brush with cancer and subsequent complications upended their lives. Don survived the cancer but was saddled with a sinister sidekick that transformed this gentle Dr. Jekyll into an evil Mr. Hyde: a white pill called prednisone. What was supposed to save him instead killed him—by his own hand.
With 44 million prescriptions written per year, for everything from allergies to immune system disorders, prednisone is something of a miracle drug. But the side effects—mania, psychosis, depression—took Don's life and nearly ruined Jill's.
In the months and years after Don's death, Jill reels from grief but finds her own way of coping. A memoir written in beautiful prose, One Pill Makes You Stronger is a love story, a cautionary tale, and a true testament to human resilience.
Jill has short stories published in such literary journals as Isotope, Literary Mama, North Atlantic Review, RE:AL, South Dakota Review, Del Sol, and Storyglossia. She has also been a finalist for the Glimmer Train Emerging Writer's Fiction Award and has been nominated for Best of the Netanthologies. She has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Pacific University, Oregon. Her mentors have included Benjamin Percy, Mary Helen Stefaniak, and Kevin McIlvoy.
Jill lives in California on the Central Coast, near her two adult children, where she advocates for better monitoring for patients on prednisone and rides her bike—always hearing Don cheering her on. She's currently working on a novel about the unique culture of the California–Mexico border region.
This book isnt just about a daughters difficult relationship with her father and his death. Its about exercising authenticity in the difficult conversations that can only strengthen the bond between a father and a daughter, and bring them both the peace they were longing for all along.
This book is for anyone who has experienced the loss of a parent, wants to repair a damaged parent/child relationship, or is looking for comfort and companionship through difficult conversations with loved ones at the end of their life cycle.
Nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first heart transplant, Amy Silverstein’s donor heart plummeted into failure. If she wanted to live, she had to take on the grueling quest for a new heart—immediately.
A shot at survival meant uprooting her life and moving across the country to California. When her friends heard of her plans, there was only one reaction: “I’m there.” Nine remarkable women—Joy, Jill, Leja, Jody, Lauren, Robin, Valerie, Ann, and Jane—put demanding jobs and pressing family obligations on hold to fly across the country and be by Amy’s side. Creating a calendar spreadsheet, the women—some of them strangers to one another—passed the baton of friendship, one to the next, and headed straight and strong into the battle to help save Amy’s life.
Empowered by the kind of empathy that can only grow with age, these women, each knowing Amy from different stages of her life, banded together to provide her with something that medicine alone could not. Sleeping on a cot beside her bed, they rubbed her back and feet when the pain was unbearable, adorned her room with death-distracting decorations, and engaged in their “best talks ever.” They saw the true measure of their friend’s strength, and they each responded in kind.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is a tribute to these women and the intense hours they spent together—hours of heightened emotion and self-awareness, where everything was laid bare. Candid and heartrending, this once-in-a-lifetime story of connection and empathy is a powerful reminder of the ultimate importance of “showing up” for those we love.
Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online—a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.
In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.
The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist.
Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. Escape from Camp 14 offers an unequalled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.