My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers, Kelly Cherry's new "novel in stories," represents a creative leap for the UW-Madison novelist and poet, notes contributing writer Raphael Kadushin. Cherry says drawing from her own life to "salvage certain experiences" helped produce "a much more open book" than her earlier novels. The book's heroine, Nina - whom Kadushin describes as "a 40-ish, Madison-based writer on a busy emotional picaresque" - may be seen as a fictional stand-in for the author. And while denying that the book is autobiographical, Cherry admits: "Nina's salvation comes from her learning to make unsecret what had been secret in her life. And I suppose her unburdening is parallel to my own exposure of secrets in this book...." Retired from UW-Madison since 1999, Cherry has won the inaugural Hanes Prize for a body of work in poetry. She continues to write, last year publishing the essay collection Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life and The Retreats of Thought: Poems.