About

Missing: A Memoir

Cornelia Maude Spelman, MSW, was a therapist with children and families before turning full-time to writing and art. She’s written eleven books for children that help them manage emotion and difficult life situations.  Her The Way I Feel series of books for young children, described by reviewers as “sensitive” and “compassionate,” have sold over four million copies and been translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, German, Arabic, Turkish, Danish, Russian, and Portuguese. She is also the author of the best-selling Your Body Belongs to You.

Her twelfth children’s book, A Foot Is Not a Fish! now available for pre-order on all bookstore sites is a pro-democracy children’s book which playfully illustrates the difference between what is true and what is not. 

Cornelia’s memoir, MISSING, a quest to understand the impact of an early tragedy in her mother’s life and its effect on her own life–what Cornelia terms a family’s “emotional legacies”–and the fate of a troubled brother who was missing for many years–has been called “memoir writing at its absolute finest” by Alex Kotlowitz. It is now available in paperback  https://JacklegPress.org. Her second memoir, SOLACE, continues from MISSING by exploring the ways in which we heal and offer solace to one another. It is forthcoming from JackLeg Press in 2024.

Cornelia has earned awards from the Illinois Arts Council, was a finalist for the Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction award from Salem College, and was awarded the Bernard De Voto Fellowship in Nonfiction at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.A daily diary writer for many years, Cornelia is currently writing Volume 263. Her diaries, those of her mother, and personal papers and photographs of her grandmother and great-grandmother and other family members are archived at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University. “The library’s manuscript collections and books document women’s lives and women’s issues currently and retrospectively. Especially well represented are suffrage and women’s rights, social reform, family history, health and sexuality, work and professions, culinary history, and gender issues.” (Schlesinger Library’s description of itself)  http://www.radcliffe.edu/schlesinger_library.aspx .

Hear an interview with Cornelia about the importance of emotion: http://albertwhitman.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/awc-podcast-series-cornelia-maude-spelman/

A mother and grandmother, Cornelia lives with her husband, writer and professor emeritus Reginald Gibbons, just outside Chicago.

https://vimeo.com/729760337 One-minute video trailer of MISSING