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NPR: Author Mary Laura Philpott ’96 on ‘I Miss You When I Blink’

Mary Laura Philpott
Mary Laura Philpott '96 at Main Street Books in Davidson

It's not really about the chicken salad. It's about "how to stay in your life, how to do the hard work that it takes to get to OK, even if your relentless perfectionism tends to get in the way," "All Things Considered" co-host Ari Shapiro said during a recent NPR interview with author Mary Laura Philpott '96.

Philpott, whose voice has been compared to Nora Ephron and Erma Bombeck, is on tour promoting her memoir, "I Miss You When I Blink." This week, she treated a crowd at Main St. Books in Davidson, North Carolina, with passages from her book.

Philpott posted this tidbit from her memoir on Facebook following the reading:

Mary Laura Philpott
Mary Laura Philpott '96

"I selected Davidson College in North Carolina with all the anywhere-but-here intention of a senior who's just ready to get out. But once I got there, I imprinted on it like a baby duck. I had attended six different schools growing up -- none of which I chose -- but this one was mine. This town was mine. These people were mine. The modular bed/desk/wardrobe/loft combo in the dorm room I shared with a soft-spoken anthropology major from South Carolina was mine. I made the best friends of my life, and although we all knew it would be over in four years, at least *we all knew.* It wasn't just me who would have to leave. Everyone would be shaken back out into the world at the same time, and until then, we were in this together."

She writes, "I didn't have a "hometown" as a kid... so Davidson became my home. Tonight I came home."

You'll have to read the book to appreciate the nuances of chicken salad.

Listen to the NPR interview.

Read the Washington Post's review, "You know that funny friend you look for at dull mom parties? Here she is, in book form."