If This Were Fiction: A Love Story
Published by University of Nebraska Press
Darkroom: A Family Exposure
Winner of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction
Darkroom: A Family Exposure is Jill Christman’s gripping, funny, and wise account of her first thirty years. Although her story runs the gamut of dramatic life events, including childhood sexual abuse, accidental death, and psychological trauma, Christman’s poignant memoir is much more than a litany of horrors; instead, it is an open-eyed, wide-hearted, and good-humored look at a life worth surviving.
Never sentimental, Jill Christman is brutally honest and surprisingly funny. She deftly blends narrative, quoted materials, her uncle’s letters, and her father’s photography to create a family saga that is both heartbreaking and exhilarating.
Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood
Read on your favorite device for $2.99! Released on Audible.com May 2015
Until the 1960s, infants were plucked from orphanages and maternity wards and used as ‘practice babies’ in college home economics departments across the country. Award-winning writer Jill Christman was determined to find out what happened to them. Along the way, five months pregnant herself and her hormones (and anxiety) raging, she also hoped to discover what it means to be a mother.
Longreads and extended essays
Spinning: Against the Rules of Angels
Creative Nonfiction Magazine’s True Story, Issue #12
For years, Jill Christman has been waiting for her long-lost lover to communicate with her from beyond the grave. Finally, he walks into her early-morning exercise class, setting her world awhirl. Read the full essay on CNF or in If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays.
Essays in Anthologies
Editors Dan Lehman and Joe Mackall chose “Going Back to Plum Island,” about returning to a place of trauma to reclaim beauty and safety, for River Teeth: Twenty Years of Creative Nonfiction (University of New Mexico Press, 2020).
Editors Zoë Bossiere and Dinty W. Moore chose “The Sloth,” about grief and the temperature of blood, for The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction (Rose Metal Press, 2020).
Editor Roxane Gay chose “Slaughterhouse Island,” about a long-ago houseboat rape and the continuing epidemic of campus sexual assault, for Not That Bad: Dispatches from a Rape Culture (HarperPerennial, 2018).
Editor Erin Wood chose “Burned Images,” an excerpt from Darkroom: A Family Exposure about a childhood accident, for Scars: An Anthology (Et Alia Press, 2015).
Editor Lee Gutkind chose “The Eleven-Minute Crib Nap,” about a baby who wants to be held and a mother who wants to write, for Oh Baby!: True Stories About Tiny Humans (In Fact Books, 2015).
Editor Joy Castro chose “Chewing Band-Aids: One Memoirist’s Take on Telling the Truth,” about the danger of a kept secret, for Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family (University of Nebraska Press, 2013).
Editor Kate Hopper chose “Three Takes on a Jump” and “The Allergy Diaries,” about memory and fear, respectively, for Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers (Viva Editions, 2012).
Editors Dana Sullivan and Maureen Connelly chose “Weaning Ella,” about—you guessed it—weaning Ella and the changing shape of intimacy, for Unbuttoned: Women tell the truth about the pains, pleasures and politics of breastfeeding (Harvard Common Press, 2009).