Searching for Spenser a memoir by Margaret Kramar


"Thus a tree sprang From me, a mustard seed."
~ Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology

Parenting can be a struggle; especially parenting a disabled child. In this flawlessly written memoir, Kramar describes championing her son, diagnosed with Sotos syndrome, through his short life. She examines the experience of loving and losing a child and reminds us that there is a way forward through the grief. Kramar’s memoir offers guidance, wisdom and inspiration. An amazing story of redemption and hope.

Author Margaret Kramar

Searching for Spenser

Tree picture in Margaret Kramar's memoir Searching for SpenserThis book is a reminder that living with a most difficult and painful thing gives us choices. Making the right one makes all the difference. Margaret Kramar has written this story for all the right reasons. And no matter who you are, you will find yourself in these pages.

~ Maryemma Graham, University of Kansas Distinguished Professor & Founder/Director, Project on the History of Black Writing.

"To die will be an awfully big adventure."
~ James M. Barrie, Peter Pan.

"Kramar is honest in her recollections—she is a narrator strong with love, but often bewildered by what fate had her take on. Spencer is realized a three-dimensional human being, sometimes frustrated with the difficulties of his disability, sometimes in love with the life he eagerly grasps. After his death, his devastated mother must once again abandon her previous expectations and dreams, and, with new insight and a fuller, wiser heart, learn to take joy in new ones."
~ Laura Moriarty, Associate Professor University of Kansas, is the author of five novels including, The Chaperone (Riverhead Books 2013), and American Heart (HarperCollins, 2018).

In Searching for Spenser, Kramar explores how she was transformed through the experience of Spenser’s life and death. Writing became a creative outlet for her grief and allowed her to share her story with others. “Star Wars,” a chapter from Searching for Spenser, appeared in Echoes from the Prairie in 2013; “The Birthday Party,” another chapter, appeared in Exceptional Parent magazine in 2008, and a short story about Spenser was anthologized in Reading Lips: And Other Ways to Overcome a Disability published by Apprentice House in 2008.
What makes a good parent? What defines success? How do we face loneliness and despair? Kramar searches for the answers to these questions after her son Spenser is diagnosed with Soto syndrome. She is forced to look honestly at her life as a single parent of two sons—one who is disabled—whom she fiercely loves.
Kramar’s work has appeared in Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages, The Grinnell Magazine, and numerous print and epublications.

Margaret Kramar is an educator and taught English at the University of Kansas where she completed her PhD in the areas of modernism, autobiography and disability studies. Kramar’s creative nonfiction has most recently appeared in Joy Interrupted: An Anthology on Motherhood and Loss and Echoes from the Prairie.
She and her family live on a farm in northeast Kansas where they produce organically grown fruits, vegetables, and free-range eggs.

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