Author Maggie Nelson's Mother, Barbara, Attended SF State

Monday, April 11, 2016
THE NEW YORKER -- Raised in Marin County, California, Maggie was the second child of Bruce and Barbara Nelson, both of whom loved words. Barb, as she was called, had written a dissertation on Virginia Woolf, at San Francisco State University, while pregnant with her first child, Emily. Bruce was a lawyer — and a great talker, Maggie says — who travelled a lot during the early years of their marriage, leaving his wife home alone with two children. When Maggie was seven, Barb fell in love with a man who’d painted the Nelson house. She and Bruce divorced the following year, and after that Maggie and Emily split their time between their father’s place and the home their mother shared with her new husband.