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Debra Gwartney

Debra Gwartney is the author of two memoirs, Live Through This (Harcourt, 2009), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and, most recently, I Am a Stranger Here Myself (New Mexico, 2019), winner of the 2017 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Award. She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University. 


Suffer Me to Pass

Summer 2020 | Essays

It was only a beer bottle I found in the middle of the trail, but it pinged an impulse in me to go. Get back to the car, give up our Saturday hike. I didn’t tell Cheryl, who stood by while I picked up the bottle and knocked off the dust. She’s known me for thirty years, since our kids were babies, and mostly she endures my jumpy nervousness. But a single empty beer bottle in the big, wide open of Oregon on a sunny June day—it was silly, even for me, to get worked up over such a thing.