2013 IPPY Gold Award Winner for “Memoir”
Winner IndieFab GOLD medal for Memoir 2013 Book of the Year Award
ForeWord Reviews
Nominated “Best of the Best 2013” American Library Association (ALA)

Dear Reader,

            This is my letter to you.  Thanks for reading and being interested in Bleeder: A Memoir.  Since I can remember, I’ve yearned to be a writer.  In fact, I never really imagined much else for myself other than writing.  And for the longest time, I wrote stories, poems, and essays that seemed to touch on Bleeder’s themes but yet failed to engage the content in the way this memoir allowed:  immediate, raw, and real.  So when I came round to the certainty that this, that Bleeder was the work I had to write, I blocked out any ideas of who might read it or what they may think of it after reading.  I just wrote.  But now, I must consider you—my reader.
            If you have hemophilia and/or suffer from HIV, I hope you might shed that sense of isolation such illnesses herald in and may gain from Bleeder a feeling of a shared struggle.  If you are a reader just coming to understand the plight of the hemophiliac or the duress of being HIV-positive, I hope you might not simply come to empathize with those of us living with these conditions, but see Bleeder as a human narrative of hope and survival.  Ultimately, I hope any reader might enjoy the work—its story, its characters, its writing—to the point where you might turn to a friend and say simply:  “Here’s a good, true story.  Read it.”  That is the greatest compliment any writer could receive.
            I thank you for your time, interest, and support.

Humbly yours,
Shelby Smoak

Original Music by Simple/Shelby Smoak: Letter to the World

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published by Michigan State University Press

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