Jami Attenberg on the joy of starting over and finding a place of your own

We all tackle ageing in different ways but very few of us do it the way this week’s guest did - by packing up her entire life and moving thousands of miles to a new city and a new life. 

Until her mid-forties, writer Jami Attenberg sofa-surfed her way around America - the year she turned 40 she slept in 26 different beds in seven months! Even for the daughter of a travelling salesman, Jami’s litany of sofas, spare beds and floors is enough to give even the most nomadic back ache!

The author of seven novels, including four bestsellers, I Came All This Way To Meet You, is Jami’s first memoir. A moving, candid, unexpectedly funny look at becoming grown up (ish), stopping running and how she, quite literally, wrote herself home.

Jami joined me from New Orleans to tell me how she finally stopped moving, being the daughter of a motherless mother and how she was scarred by summer camp! She also talked about embracing the mid-life move, why you don’t always have to give people what they want, just because they ask, and the life changing impact of having a hysterectomy. Oh and that “neck thing”? It’s real…

• You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including I Came All This Way To Meet You by Jami Attenberg and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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