About Chana Wilson

CHANA WILSON is a storyteller, an award-winning author, and a former radio producer 1-ChanaWilson_4599LoResWEBand television engineer. She began her career in broadcast journalism as a radio programmer with KPFA in Berkeley, California. Her work hosting the KPFA program A World Wind—in which she interviewed poets, musicians, writers and activists—sparked her desire to work with people on a deeper level.  Recently retired from thirty years as a psychotherapist, she credits the extraordinary courage of her clients for inspiring her to write.

Wilson’s writing has appeared in the print journals The Sun and Sinister Wisdom, the online journal Roadwork, and in several anthologies. Since the publication of Riding Fury Home, Wilson has become a blogger on the Huffington Post. Her essays have been Editor’s Choice on Salon.com.

Since the mid-eighties, Wilson has been playing percussion with the women’s samba band Sistah Boom. She resides with her wife in Oakland, California.

“Chana Wilson’s astonishing story is a hybrid of nightmare and fairy tale in which every child’s worst fears and fondest hopes about their mother come true.”

Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

“I finished the book feeling enlarged for what I’d read, inspired and hopeful. Riding Fury Home is a beautiful and very human story of vast themes: birth, death, desire, hope, oppression overcome. Wilson tells her stories in a powerful way that brings the universal home.”

Lambda Literary

“Chana Wilson has done a wonderful thing — putting on the page so much grief, fear, and stubborn awe-inspiring endurance. We rarely look closely at complicated relationships like the one she had with her mother, and even more rarely look at how they change over time. This is not heroes and villains, but a layered, intimate exchange in which it seems the child is never quite allowed to be a child — and yet still manages to hang onto a carefully constructed loving closeness.”

—Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina

“It quickly becomes clear from the beginning pages of this memoir that although Chana Wilson is a first-time author, she is a masterful storyteller.” —Bay Area Reporter

“A stunning story with a redemptive ending, Riding Fury Home is full of surprises and mind-opening revelations.”—Sandy Boucher, author of Hidden Spring

“From the horrors of her childhood in 1950s New Jersey to the liberating discovering of her sexual identity decades later, psychotherapist Wilson’s memoir is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting. Through sharing her personal tale of forgiveness and unconditional love, Wilson breaks the silence on the trauma of oppression and the ecstasy of self-acceptance—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“As a work of socially relevant art, this memoir is above reproach. As a historical document, it is both lamentation of a shameful past and evidence of how far we’ve come.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Her frank and moving memoir…reminds us how much one remarkable, compelling life can tell us about the culture in which it thrives.  When at long last Wilson discovers freedom and support in love with women, readers won’t just know her and her heart better — they’ll better understand the last 50 years of American life.”  —SF Weekly

“Riding Fury Home describes the complicated relationship between a mother and daughter set against the backdrop of a changing America, as Wilson comes to accept her own lesbian identity and learns to forge a new relationship with her mother. A compelling read.—Booklist

“What a difference twenty years makes. Wilson’s Riding Fury Home offers us a dramatic look at what it meant for a woman to love a woman in 1950 versus what it felt like to come out in 1970 in the earliest most ebullient days of the women’s movement. A remarkable story that holds out transformation as a possibility for any of us — no matter how late — and for us as a society, no matter how long in coming.”—Laura Flynn, author of Swallow the Ocean