Parsing the Dragon: A Memoir

Parsing the Dragon: A Memoir
Recently Released -- September 2018

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About the Book


Parsing the Dragon: A Memoir


    The author’s world shifts in 2006, when her father's illness summons her back to her hometown, Decatur, Illinois, from her current home in the Pacific Northwest.  She finds her father on the mend but his illness unmasks the hidden diagnosis of her mother’s dementia.  Sensing the end of her mother's life is imminent, Susan confronts her on their relationship, one fraught with so much criticism and cruelty, that the author secretly sees her mother as “The Dragon.”  Throughout the next eight years, the Glenn children struggle to keep their ninety-year-old parents comfortable while they downsize the family’s unwieldy estate.

     On a September afternoon in 2010,  Susan sorts through the last of her parents' possessions still haunted by the question----Did her mother truly love her?  Suddenly she finds unexpected answers in a trove of letters found in a shoebox.  The letters illuminate the lives of a young couple, Clarence and Adele Glenn, newly married but separated by war.  Her mother awaits Susan's birth in Chicago, while her father serves as ship's doctor in the U.S. Navy, on the U.S.S. Natoma Bay aircraft carrier.  The lives of the young family depend on the outcome of World War II.


About the Author

Susan Glenn Lampe is the author of Parsing the Dragon: A Memoir, The Butterfly ChaSu, Tiny Shooting Stars, and Butterflies and Other Dimensions. She graduated in 1967, with a Bachelor of Journalism Degree (BJ) from The University of Missouri/Columbia, and worked in that field for twenty years as a newspaper reporter and editor for a series of university catalogs at Wichita State University and on magazines and academic and professional books and memoirs.  For ten years, she also worked for three different St. Louis hospitals in public relations, fund-raising and print, radio, and television media.  She visualized and created the first Public Relations Department for Missouri Baptist Hospital (now known as Missouri Baptist Medical Center). 

She moved to Rochester, New York in 1988.  While there she studied and wrote about the life of Mary Clark Thompson of Canandaigua and earned a master’s degree in creative writing at SUNY Brockport (State University of New York).  Since 1993, the author has lived in the Pacific Northwest where she has taught poetry, creative writing and memoir to people of all ages.  Her book, Parsing the Dragon was a finalist in the 2009 Literary Contest sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.



Other Books by Susan Glenn Lampe available by contacting