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Joanne Duebner Book

I interviewed my mother for two full days in August 2017, when my family gathered in Illinois for her 80th birthday celebration. I stayed at her home in Huntley and we talked. Just the two of us. I asked her questions I had previously prepared to get the conversation going and she answered them. Sometimes as she talked, we took an off ramp from the focus of the initial question but usually that led to greater depth and insight. We laughed and we cried. I learned a lot. 

I recorded these sessions on my iPhone. We took breaks and she made me home-cooked meals or we went out to eat. And yes, wine was involved. 

I was amazed at the number of names she remembers from her life. The full names of teachers, classmates, boyfriends, friends and neighbors just spilled out as she talked without needing to take a moment to pull them from the past.

We also went through boxes of photos and keepsakes and I took many of them with me for scanning and documentation.

Since that initial interview, we had additional conversations by phone or text for clarification and more details. I was hoping this book would be finished before one year went by, but life can get in the way and I wanted to get this right.

I am a graphic designer and visual communicator, not a writer. But I am a storyteller. This is my mother’s story as heard, organized and then created by me.

No one can fully document an entire life, but I tried to capture her essence. This is my tribute to my mom.

(12"x12", hardbound with dust jacket, 112 pages)

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