Skip to content

The Significance of Curly Hair: A Loving Memoir of Life and Loss, by Kara L Zajac

Growing up, Gram was my best friend. We shared a double bed in my family’s cottage until I was nine. Fifteen years later, I got the call that she’d fallen and hit her head. All I could see was her mouthing, “Don’t you love me enough to come back home?” I wept on the plane as I began to write her story, the one she’d asked me to write in ninth grade.

Gram and I were polar opposites. She spent much of her life barefoot and pregnant. I was a gay, career-driven, independent decision-maker.

Searching through old relics, we found a time capsule in Gram’s drawer, revealing clues to her dark era, her 1957 breakdown. Dark green pills, a bank book, scribbles on an envelope: answers to unasked questions. She survived stress and abuse without things I take for granted: income, a car, stocked pantry shelves. She did it all with unconditional love, never revealing her pain.

I’d spent my adult life avoiding becoming a “traditional” woman, but her death freed something in me. I realized the importance of child-rearing, understanding a woman like me can balance career and family. Love and support create happy, healthy kids. I could pass Gram’s spirit onto a child, braiding generations together from lifetime to lifetime.

I read, or rather zoomed, through the whole thing. The emotional action just sort of sweeps you along. I had tears in my eyes at the end of Chapter 1. – Mimi Schroeder, APR Max Communications

Atmosphere Press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.