Total Loss

Total Loss

An Inventory of Disaster, Theirs and Mine

by Stef Willen

Price: $24.00(Hardcover)
Published: August 29, 2017
VN:RO [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
From the Publisher: Based on an award-winning McSweeney’s column, a darkly funny, intimate memoir about a young woman who learns how to live in the midst of other people’s loss, for fans of Lab Girl and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

Success always came easily to Stef Willen. Brainy and precocious, her loving parents raised her in the fresh air of the Colorado Mountains, where should could play in the dirt and learn and run free. So how exactly did she end up in this predicament at age twenty-six: on the floor, covered in soot, shards of glass digging into her knees, picking through the remains of someone else’s life? Her business card read Disaster Content Inventory Specialist and her task was to inventory all of the items destroyed after a house is burnt down, cataloguing the wreckage so that residents could receive fair settlements from their insurance companies.

This wasn’t—as you can imagine—the plan. Her dreams of a Nobel prize-winning career in paleoanthropology had been derailed in college by emotional turmoil and addiction, and after taking just one post-grad acting class, she made the grossly naïve decision to conquer Hollywood. But by the time she settled into her tiny apartment in Los Angeles, Stef found herself mired in a soul-crushing relationship and dangerously reliant on the power of alcohol to soothe her anxious woes.

Enter Disaster Content Inventory. What begins as an attempt to pay the bills turns into a reckoning that Stef could never have anticipated. As she travels far and wide, she meets unforgettable characters in their most vulnerable moments, experiencing flashes of insight that change her outlook on success and the definition of a life worth living.

A poignant and fascinating look inside a strange and intense profession, Total Loss offers a glimpse into the six years Stef spent crawling around ravaged homes, emerging wiser and stronger on the other side of disaster.

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About The Author
Stef Willen
Stef Willen is a contributor to McSweeney’s and This American Life and was the co-star of the film, EM, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Seattle International Film Festival. She was raised in Boulder, Colorado and lives mostly in Los Angeles and a little in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Release Info
  • $24.00 (Hardcover)
  • August 29, 2017
  • Atria Books
  • 304
  • 1501115286
  • 9781501115288