for You Belong to Us

"A bare-naked plunge into the murky waters of nature, nurture, and an adopted daughter’s search for her true identity. Molly McCaffrey has written a brave and important book."

—Joe Blair

Author of By the Iowa Sea, chosen by Publishers Weekly as a top ten memoir of 2012


"The emotions the young woman describes in this memoir are all too real."

—Library Journal


"McCaffrey holds nothing back. This compelling memoir deepens questions about nature versus nurture, forcing readers to confront sides of themselves they may not have previously known or acknowledged."

—Tom C. Hunley

Author of Plunk


"Achingly honest and gritty, a vehement account of an adult adoptee’s search for her biological identity–and her shock–and resolution, on finding them, to write about the experience of it. And more than that, it’s a writer’s personal covenant to write honestly about her experience even in the face of renouncement by her biological family."

—Trish Lindsey Jaggers

Author of Holonym


for How To Survive Graduate School & Other Disasters

"How happy I am to make the acquaintance of the characters in Molly McCaffrey’s stories—the girls and women who face the world with gusto, sometimes make unwise decisions, and sometimes find themselves put upon by circumstances beyond their control. The stories in How to Survive Graduate School and Other Disasters are gritty and tender. They are brave stories, written with grace and precision."

—Lee Martin

Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Bright Forever

"How to Survive Graduate School and Other Disasters, this entertaining collection of stories, explores a variety of psychological experiences in friendships, relationships—duos, triangles, and quadrangles—and family, with fine insights and epiphanies. Coming of age happens early in Girl Scout camps and continues through grad school and retirement in Florida. Altogether, a marvelous and enlightening read."

—Josip Novakovich

Man Booker finalist, American Book Award winner, and author of Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust

“A powerful first collection. Molly McCaffrey’s intelligent heroines get themselves into and out of pairings—and threesomes—of every description, both sexual and emotional. And they sound good doing it, like someone you’d want to know.”

—Eric Goodman

author of Twelfth and Race

"The stories in How To Survive Graduate School and Other Disasters are bright in both senses of the word: they shimmer with clarity, and they are smart as hell. The almost-Ph.D. protagonist of the collection’s title story concludes that she doesn’t want to theorize and analyze—she only wants to tell stories. And in the raw and riveting stories that follow, the characters survive by telling themselves stories, stories that reject the disasters of their real lives where they are hurt by friends and boyfriends and dissertation directors—and, always, by themselves. Molly McCaffrey’s piercing collection reveals that life is a series of disasters, and that stories may be our only survival."

—Kelcey Parker

author of For Sale by Owner

“McCaffrey's stories of sorrowed and bitter women, ex-patriate wannabes and disillusioned grad students, make for disturbing reading. With skill and precision, McCaffrey displays the fruits of intellectualism gone awry.”

—Alex Taylor

author of The Name of the Nearest River

“Molly McCaffrey’s How to Survive Graduate School & Other Disasters is truly a great collection. It felt like candy when I was reading it.”

—S. Craig Renfroe

author of You Should Get That Looked At