I'm Hope Edelman...
Some of you may know me as the author of seven books, or as a nonfiction writing instructor, or as a mom standing on the soccer field sidelines cheering her 15-year-old daughter across the field.
And I do all those things. My original training is in journalism, with a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. I also have a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. And I’m the mom of two teenaged daughters.
But really, my story begins much earlier, in the New York suburbs, where I had a very typical childhood – two parents, three children, a cat and a dog — until my mother was diagnosed with cancer in 1980. She died when I was 17. Her death sent me on a journey into bookstores and libraries, looking for a book about early mother loss. When I still hadn’t found one ten years later, I decided to write it myself.
That’s how Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss was born.
The book has since been published in 16 countries and 11 languages, and has inspired support groups and gatherings for motherless women in eight countries and 48 U.S. cities. It also led to four-day retreats for motherless women that I co-lead with author and therapist Claire Bidwell Smith.
I’ve always wanted to work one-on-one with clients, and about two years ago I trained to become a life coach through Martha Beck Life Coach Training. Since then I’ve been working with women and men who’ve experienced the loss of a significant loved one — mother, father, sibling, close friend. I’ve also done training in narrative therapy at the Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy, and I speak at various professional conferences in both the writing and beravement fields.
For more than 20 years I’ve been teaching nonfiction writing, most recently at Antioch University-LA; in Northwestern University’s high school summer journalism program; at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Ohio State University; and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. That’s where my interest and skill in writing and reframing stories comes in.
My home is in a canyon outside of Los Angeles, where I live with my husband, two daughters, and two cats. I drive around, a lot. I believe in freshly brewed coffee, chocolate chip mint ice cream, and contemporary Italian film. I like to talk, which is a good quality for a public speaker. Even more, I like to listen, which is a very useful quality for a coach.
Other semi-useful things to know: