Laurie Jean Cannady

Laurie Jean Cannady (Creative Non-Fiction) | Jersey Shore, PA

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Laurie Jean Cannady is a professor of English at Lock Haven University, where she spends much of her time encouraging students to realize their true potential. She is a consummate champion of women’s issues, veterans’ issues, and issues affecting underprivileged youth. Cannady resides in central Pennsylvania with Chico Cannady and their three children.


Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul (Etruscan Press, 2015). Memoir.
Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul (Etruscan Press, 2015). Memoir.

Press & Reviews

“What an extraordinary memoir! Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul is Laurie Jean Cannady’s intense yet inspiring story of overcoming the terrors and traumas that befall a young black woman on her hard-won path to selfhood and self-love. Daughter to a woman who “wore the same pain” of heartaches and history of abusive relationships, Cannady’s triumph is in recognizing that she “still had strength to hold [herself] together while so broken.” The light at the end of this fierce and uncompromising book is nourishment to the spirit.”
—Rigoberto González, author of Butterfly Boy and Unpeopled Eden

“In Laurie Jean Cannady’s Crave, power is taken and power is given in a timeless story of the levels of existence that poverty and disenfranchisement sometimes force families to endure, and the insistence of one family to carry on. Through the eyes of an indomitable young woman, we glimpse the despair and possibility of life and witness the triumph of her finding her way to her own sense of worth and strength. Crave reminds us all that circumstances do not define us.”
—Morowa Yejidé, author of Time of the Locust

“In Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul, Laurie Cannady relays a harrowing tale of childhood poverty, deprivation, and abuse. Never maudlin or self-pitying, always searingly honest, Cannady balances raw evocations of suffering with tender love for her beleaguered family. The result is the transcendent story of a child who will not remain a victim.”
—Laurie Alberts, author of Fault Line and Between Revolutions

Crave: A Sojourn of a Hungry Soul is a soul-searing memoir that marks the arrival of a unforgettable new voice. Brave, honest, and beautiful, this is a story about facing the truth, facing the truth, and daring to love your way through to the other side.”
—Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta

“In her unflinching memoir, Cannady is truthful enough to pay loving tribute to her remarkable mother without glossing over her faults, compassionate enough to recognize the woundedness in the men and boys who caused so much hurt. I fell in love with the little girl, wronged in ways she cannot as yet name, who still suspects that “the way it’s done” is not the way life ought to be. And I rejoiced-as you will-that Cannady grew up to be the woman capable of writing this beautiful, essential book.”
—Diane Lefer, author of Confessions of a Carnivore; co-author of The Blessing Next to the Wound

“In this family history, as in many, sometimes it’s difficult to know who’s stirring the pot and who needs saving. Cannady is indeed faithful and fearless in her tightly woven tale of horror and grace, kinship and light, full of “mementos every…child works hard to keep.” Here, the precious cargo of families is set adrift in the cauldron of the world and Cannady is unabashed in recalling the music that transfixed and bolstered them, then paved the way for her own luminous singing.”
—Remica L. Bingham-Risher, author of Conversion and What We Ask of Flesh

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