With symptoms including headaches, nausea, rashes, and fatigue, Caitlin Shetterly visited doctor after doctor searching for a cure for what ailed her. What she found, after years of misery and bafflement was as unlikely as it was utterly common...Read More
Lately, as I drive around, I find myself peering out the windows at houses. In my mind, I’m practically moving myself into other people’s lives: I’m painting their walls, arranging my chaise longue in a picture window, setting up my son’s room; I’m hanging my artwork, replanting window boxes with blue and yellow pansies, and putting in gardens on their front lawns.Read More
Last weekend, we brought another family with us on a weekend away. They, too, have a small child who’s five — a year older than ours. As can often happen with small children (and perhaps even more so with small only children), there was a lot of refereeing of the sharing of things.Read More
When I was a child, there was a running joke in our family about someday buying a fixer-upper. Whenever we took car trips, my mother would point out the window to long abandoned houses and say, "There’s a real fixer-upper for us!" And we’d all chuckle. It wasn’t just a joke: part of us wanted to believe that we, the Shetterlys, were capable of swooping in and bringing a collapsed pile of wood, glass and shingles back to life.Read More
When I was 12 going on 20, and mashing stacks of black jelly bracelets up my arms, painting my fingernails a frosty blue and wearing my hot-pink-and-black tiger print tank top five out of seven days of the week, I fell in love. Hard. With John Taylor, the bass player for the band Duran Duran.Read More
Before we took the apartment on Rialto — a palm-tree-and-bougainvillea-lined avenue a few blocks from the Pacific — the landlord told me about her. He said there was "a kind of daffy older lady" who’d be living above us. He said she was like "the concierge of the building" and had been there a few decades but sometimes drank too much and every so often would "yell."Read More
Caitlin Shetterly is the author of Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home (Hyperion, 2011) and is a freelance reporter, writer and contributing producer to National Public Radio where she reports on arts and culture, food, and lifestyle.
Shetterly writes regularly for The New York Times and has a column, "This Mom’s Life," on Medium.com, from the creators of Blogger and Twitter, for whom she writes about "raising a family in a high stress, increasingly toxic and dangerous world." She is a regular columnist for Oprah.com--her pieces for Oprah have been syndicated to CNN.com, Yahoo.com and the Huffington Post.
Shetterly’s piece, "The Bad Seed," in the August 2013 issue of Elle Magazine, is the first to make a possible link between GMO corn and the allergy and autoimmune epidemics.
In 2009, Shetterly created a series of autobiographical audio diaries for "Weekend Edition" on NPR about the Great Recession under the title "Diary of a Recession," which went viral. Those audio diaries, along with her blog, Passage West, inspired Made for You and Me. The book was excerpted by The New York Times Magazine in January 2011, featured on American Public Media’s "Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal," NPR, Slate, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and many other publications and blogs. Made for You and Me was selected for a Goodreads "Choice Award" in the category of Best Travel and Outdoor Nonfiction Book of 2011 and was a "Maine Women Write" book club pick in November 2011. MFY&M was the first American book to chronicle the middle class experience with the Great Recession.
Shetterly has been a frequent contributor to the PRI shows "This American Life" and "Studio 360," among others. Her book Fault Lines: Stories of Divorce, an anthology of America’s greatest short stories on the subject of divorce, was published by Putnam/Berkley in 2001 and was an Indie bestseller in January 2002. From 2004-2007 she wrote a bimonthly column, "Bramhall Square," about relationships and love for the Portland Phoenix. A former actor, she is the founder and artistic director of The Winter Harbor Theatre Company.
Shetterly graduated from Brown University with Honors in English and American Literature. She shares her life in Maine with her husband, photographer Daniel E. Davis, their young son, Master M., their salty dog, Hopper, and cat, Hemingway.
This is my family, and this is my story. But my story could be your brother's story, or your neighbor's, or your best friend's because mine is an American story...
Newlywed Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan Davis, two hardworking freelancers, began their lives together in 2008 by pursuing a lifelong, shared dream of leaving Maine and going West.
At first, California was the land of plenty. Quickly, though, the recession landed, and a surprise pregnancy that was also surprisingly rough made Caitlin too sick to work. By December, every job Dan had lined up had been canceled, and though he pounded the pavement, from shop to shop and from bar to bar, he could not find any work at all. By March 2009, every cent of the couple's savings had been spent.
So, a year after they'd set out with big plans, Caitlin and Dan packed up again, this time with a baby on board, to make their way home to move in with Caitlin's mother. As they drove, Caitlin blogged about their situation and created audio diaries for NPR's Weekend Edition—and received an astounding response. From all across the country, listeners offered help, opening their hearts and their homes. And when the young family arrived back in rural Maine and squeezed into Caitlin's mother's small saltbox house, Caitlin learned that the bonds of family run deeper than any tug to roam, and that, with love, she and Dan could hold their dreams in sight, wherever they were.
Made for You and Me captures the irrepressible spirit and quiet perseverance of one small family—and offers to share that strength with any reader willing to make the journey.Buy the Book
A sense of freedom. A sense of failure. A range of reactions, from anger to relief to regret. This bestselling anthology explores the conflicting emotions surrounding divorce-in twenty-two outstanding short stories by "some of the countries most formidable authors" (The New York Post).
A first-of-its-kind collection, this bestselling anthology represents a journey through the rocky terrain of separation and divorce, from the viewpoints of the various people affected by the dissolution of a marriage, whether that dissolution is slow and sad or sudden and shocking. Fault Lines is not only a stunning showcase of talent, but a unique literary look at the culture of divorce.Buy the Book
"For anyone still buried underneath the rubble of the economic collapse, Made for You and Me is more than a relatable read; it’s a straightforward and unsweetened source of inspiration."
"A deeply personal and riveting, alternately funny and poignant read... Forget the Cleavers. Shetterly’s is the new American family."
"Caitlin Shetterly’s Made for You and Me is a beautiful, moving, haunting, and funny memoir about what really counts. It moves deftly and lightly between the west coast and the east coast, and frustration and hope, with pointed, buoyant lines that make you smile as they pierce your heart. Made for You and Me is a memoir about great people (with great pets, too; funny how that works out) and their great new son going through a rough patch with grace and wisdom. Caitlin and her family will realize many dreams. And in the meantime, rather than despair, they have given us a sublime gift of a book."
"There’s a story of this country that doesn’t get told a lot. Or told well. Of what it’s like to not make it. Of having to say to yourself, and to your spouse and your child ‘Listen, this isn’t it. We need to try something else. We need to start over…from the very beginning.’ Caitlin Shetterly’s Made for You and Me is that story. Resonant and richly detailed, it takes you deep into the personal heart of the beginning of the financial crisis and the recession that followed. Then, somehow, via Venice, California, backwoods Maine and 3000 miles in between brings you out the other end."
"In a world of uncertainty, we are offered a thoughtful pause, from a writer of uncommon resonance, heart, and verve. Made for You and Me is a chronicle of change through love--sometimes painful, sometimes funny, often moving. What matters about this book is its revelation that what we think we want is not what we really need, which is family, community, and a meaningful life. This book will make many, many people feel less lonely in the world."
"I thoroughly enjoyed the wild ride Caitlin Shetterly takes across America (with husband, pets, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and soon, child) in Made for You and Me. Shetterly is an honest and companionable writer and I look forward to what's next."
"Caitlin Shetterly’s lovely, moving account of her small family’s journey to seek out and attain the sometimes elusive American dream will resonate with anyone who has had a tough time, and who hoped and tried hard to keep going."
"Kerouac would be proud. In fact, he might be envious."