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5 mins

Paula McLain’s Antidote to Toxic Love

Paula McLain is an author best known for her New York Times bestselling novel, The Paris Wife. In this episode of Self? Help!, she tells Terence about a book that transformed how she loves.
by Carrie M. King | Mar 21 2019

Sometimes love hurts—but when it hurts over and over again, we’ve got to ask the toughest question of them all: Why? And why won’t it stop?

In this episode, New York Times bestselling author Paula McLain tells Terence the story of a relationship with so many twists and turns it could have been lifted from the pages of a thriller.

“What if I somebody sees me reading this… what does that say? How horrifying! How could I possibly be that person”
Paula McLain

This episode touches on challenging themes like uneven parenting, abuse, ideals of affection, and the allure of toxic love in order to illuminate a path toward healing.

Listen to hear how—and why—McLain’s ache for love led her into danger, and all about the book that helped her save herself.

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Who’s Paula McLain?

Paula McLain

Paula McLain is the author of The Paris Wife, a New York Times and international bestseller, which has been published in thirty-four languages. The recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is also the author of two collections of poetry; a memoir, Like Family: Growing up in Other People’s Houses; and a first novel, A Ticket to Ride. She lives with her family in Cleveland.

What is Self? Help!

Self? Help! is the podcast for anyone who’s thought: Who the hell am I? What in God’s name am I doing? And how did I get here of all places? Then, to figure it all out, you turned to a book—because you’re that kind of person, and so is your host, Moth Storyteller and creator of Memory Motel, Terence Mickey.

It doesn’t matter from where you seek your guidance—whether it’s Leo Tolstoy or Dr. Seuss. Terence believe that we cannot get enough help in this life and that books are, indeed, magic.

Self? Help! is made by the same people who make Blinkist, a learning app where you can read or listen to the key ideas from a nonfiction bestseller, in just about 15 minutes. You can try Blinkist for free for 14 days when you use the voucher code: mclain

It takes a village to raise a podcast

Self? Help! was created and produced by Terence Mickey, with audio engineering help from Dominick Egley, and production assistance from Nat Darozhkina. Additional audio engineering and ad music by Ben Jackson and Ody Constantinou. This show could not have happened without the help of Caitlin Schiller and Ben Schuman-Stoler, hosts of Blinkist’s other much-loved podcast, Simplify. Thanks also to Joshua Phelps, Lotta Kortekallio, Hugh Brace, Natalia Piana, Justyna Kusa, Sarolta Geréb, Kaleb Wentzel-Fisher, Sarah Moriarty, Sarah Kennedy, Yerang Choi, Clément Halloo, Gloria Ciceri, Emily Phillips, Robyn Kerkhof, and Therese Sivertsson.

Say hi!

Tell us what you think of this episode by dropping a line to [email protected]. Send us feedback, questions, comments, or even a wish, if that’s what floats your boat. You can Tweet at Terence directly @terence_mickey or Blinkist @blinkist. More than anything, we want to hear about the books that made a deep impact on you, personally. So please tell us, because #booksaremagic and we want to hear all about them!

Link it all together

If you’re looking for some links to click, allow us to recommend these ones:

Paula McLain’s website
Interview with Paula McLain in the LA Review of Books
Interview with Robin Norwood about Women Who Love Too Much

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