University of Oklahoma Press
While still in her twenties, Teresa Miller found literary success with the novel “Remnants of Glory.” The buzz surrounding her debut novel had her poised to be the next great author, but an 18-year debilitating writer’s block left her searching for new means for her voice to be heard. Miller, a Tahlequah native, founded the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers and teaches advanced fiction at the Tulsa campus of Oklahoma State University. She also hosts “Writing Out Loud” on OETA.
With “Means of Transit “ A Slightly Embellished Memoir,” Miller narrates her journeys from small-town Oklahoma to dreaming of big cities to writing her first novel. Miller grew up without her mother, living only cordially with her father and raised more by relatives.
Her early experiences speak much about her grandmother’s role in her life, either as they drove around the Midwest in her ’65 Buick or at home where she was allowed to watch everything but “The Waltons” because “grandma believed that we were such a quirky family ourselves that tuning in to the well-balanced Walton clan might give us unrealistic expectations.”
“Means of Transit” also focuses on her dreams from a small age to leave Oklahoma “ something she never really accomplished.
Eventually, the memoir follows Miller down the dark, uneven path of her writer’s block and ultimately finding her voice in celebrating the works of other authors. Miller’s writing is lyrical, but frank, and tells her story in vignettes instead of a running narrative. The book makes it clear that even if Miller never writes another book (her writer’s block ended with the novel “Family Correspondence”), she still has a lot to say and will find a way to say it.
“Jenny Coon Peterson