Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home

Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home

by Amy Dickinson


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In Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things—her follow-up memoir to the NYT bestselling The Mighty Queens of Freeville—America's most popular advice columnist, "Ask Amy," shares her journey of family, second chances, and finding love.

By peeling back the curtain of her syndicated advice column, Amy Dickinson reveals much of the inspiration and motivation that has fueled her calling. Through a series of linked essays, this moving narrative picks up where her earlier memoir left off.

Exploring central themes of romance, death, parenting, self-care, and spiritual awakening, this touching and heartfelt homage speaks to all who have faced challenges in the wake of life's twists and turns. From finding love in middle-age to her storied experience with stepparenting to overcoming disordered eating to her final moments spent with her late mother, Dickinson's trademark humorous tone delivers punch and wit that will empower, entertain, and heal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316352628
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 03/27/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 276,661
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Amy Dickinson writes the syndicated "Ask Amy" advice column, which replaced the Ann Landers column in 2003. "Ask Amy" appears in more than 150 newspapers in North America, including the LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday, The Boston Globe, the Denver Post, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Washington Post. She currently lives in Freeville, NY.


Freeville, NY; Chicago, IL

Date of Birth:

November 6, 1959

Place of Birth:

Ithaca, NY


Georgetown University, 1981

Table of Contents

Author's Note xiii

Introduction: Welcome to Freeville 1

Chapter 1 We Played with Matches 9

Chapter 2 Romance: A Brief History 22

Chapter 3 Dating Blindly 32

Chapter 4 Night of the Chipmunk Hands 39

Chapter 5 Journeys End in Lovers Meeting 45

Chapter 6 Meeting Mr. Darcy 49

Chapter 7 The Antidote for Longing 60

Chapter 8 Let Me Get My Puppets 67

Chapter 9 Life Renovation Offer 73

Chapter 10 The Grenade in the Kitchen 75

Chapter 11 Paying the Piper 83

Chapter 12 We Did 94

Chapter 13 The Powdered Wife 103

Chapter 14 Real Housewives 112

Chapter 15 All the Single Ladies 116

Chapter 16 What the Dog Did 121

Chapter 17 We Abide 128

Chapter 18 Heroic Measures 140

Chapter 19 The Fallacy of Closure 150

Chapter 20 The Rising Tide of Things 160

Chapter 21 Does It Spark Joy? 167

Chapter 22 Imperfect Pitch 172

Chapter 23 Counting Sheep 180

Chapter 24 How to Use a Saw 188

Chapter 25 Next of Kin 195

Chapter 26 Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things 206

Chapter 27 Mother's Day 218

Acknowledgments 223

What People are Saying About This

Jane Hamilton

“This is awkward, because the characters in this book are real people, but I'm going to say it anyway: I love the people in this book. Jane! Bruno and the daughters! And Amy, who is very tough on herself, and funny and wise; I especially love her because she is a wonderful writer….There is a line on p. 169 that makes me laugh every time I think of it. Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things is a terrific memoir.” -Jane Hamilton, bestselling author of A Map of the World

Deila Ephron

“A wonderful memoir of what family and home mean in these complicated times. Amy Dickinson will captivate you with her wit, wisdom, and honesty.” -Delia Ephron, coauthor of You've Got Mail and author of Siracusa

From the Publisher

“Funny, generous, thoughtful, and wonderfully crisp, Dickinson's memoir is one of those tales that make you proud to be a human—with all of our hopes, failures, and graces intact.” -Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

“Amy Dickinson has written a simply wonderful memoir. It is courageously honest and touching, but most of all, hilarious and laugh-out-loud funny. She tells us what it is like to be human, to love and to lose and keep going, no matter what. This book is a life-affirming love letter to small town America and the true meaning of family and community. I couldn't have loved it more!” -Fannie Flagg, New York Times bestselling author of Can't Wait to Get to Heaven

“You can't go home again. But you should consider moving to Amy Dickinson's hometown. The Village of Freeville may not have a Starbucks but it's got Venti grace, kindness, and wisdom.” -Mo Rocca, CBS Sunday Morning

“This book is a truth machine. A laugh machine. An I-needed-that-kick-in-the-ass machine. Every day, Amy Dickinson writes to others, but the reason her advice rises above everyone else's is simply this: she's always writing to herself. Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things is absolute proof that the best stories don't just entertain us; they reveal us. And lift us. Wherever you are in your life, you need this book.” -Brad Meltzer, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Heroes for My Daughter

“Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things is a very funny, whip-smart, charming and addictively engaging memoir. I felt myself wanting to jump in to the pages and be with all of Amy's people, and of course Amy. The wisdom she is well known for is present on every page. This is a book you will want to read and give to the people you love (and maybe the people you aren't so crazy about).” -Julie Klam, New York Times bestselling author of Friendkeeping

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Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read her first book and was so excited to read she was working on this book. Great memoir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
oldvjp1 More than 1 year ago
Amy writes a thoroughly, engaging memoir virtually anyone can relate to. She reminds us how unexpectedly joyful and unforgettably complicated life can be, but that those things are what create the rich fabric we call life. Wonderful book.