Marion Winik

Marion Winik on Dating, Writing, and Austin at Book People


Though she works as a creative writing professor at the University of Baltimore these days, it’s fair to say that acclaimed memoirist Marion Winik got her start in Texas. Her personal essays appeared in the Austin Chronicle in late 1980s and 1990s, where NPR’s Austin-based John Burnett read them and helped Winik snag appearances on All Things Considered. Increasing attention led to a creative nonfiction fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Publication of a series of memoirs and essay collections followed.

While Winik’s writing career has the look of steady success, her personal life has seen plenty of challenges. Winik lost her first husband to AIDS, lived through the ups and downs of single motherhood, and saw her second marriage end in divorce. Through it all, Winik kept writing, turning out deeply personal but accessible books and essay collections like Telling and First Comes Love, which the New York Times said possesses “an unblinking narrative tone that is frequently very funny, in spite of the fact that much of what [Winik] has to impart is painfully sad.”

Winik’s latest, Highs in the Low Fifties, relates her adventures as a middle-aged woman re-entering the dating world. She approaches the topic with her characteristic no-holds-barred honesty, plumbing both the emotional depths and surface hilarity of her subject. Check out an excerpt over at the Austin Chronicle.

Winik will talk about Highs in the Low Fifties on Wednesday, 7 PM, at Book People in Austin. Come ask about writing, dating, what Austin was like before it got so hip, or pretty much anything else. As her memoirs reveal, Winik has pretty much seen it all.