Framing a Life: Building the Space To Be Me

Framing a Life: Building the Space To Be Me

Roberta’s memoir,  Framing a Life: Building the Space to be Me, is now available.  With humor and poignancy, it takes readers along an inspiring journey of self-discovery as Roberta finds that home is less a physical place than an intrinsic sense of self, an unshakable foundation of the heart and soul.

With courage and perseverance, grieving the end of a seven-year relationship, Roberta is uprooted from the world she knows.  Starting over alone, she embarks on a quest to build a home in the woods of Maine.  As the foundation is laid and the walls go up, Roberta reconstructs a life, one grounded in childhood loss, abandonment, and in adulthood as a feminist lesbian and attorney. Another intimate death shakes her to her core leading to an eight-year spiritual search to understand her Jewish roots, the Kabbalah, Buddhism, reincarnation and the psychic encounters she was experiencing.

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“With the life lessons I’d since acquired, I knew this soul-searching compelled a full unmasking. With heavy eyelids and a drained psyche, I was untangling, as best I could, this demanding challenge of discovery and learning, viewing myself from afar to figure out the “why” of some of my unhealthy behavior. I pushed myself beyond the old Roberta to the new Roberta—somewhat like a child being reincarnated over and over until she gets it right.”



“Framing A Life by Roberta S. Kuriloff is about the search for home, family, and love—yet is so much more. This story examines the grief of losing all we human beings long for in this world, but still moving forward with faith, love, and tenacity. You will smile. You will cry. Best of all, you will cheer on Roberta as she learns home is not necessarily a place. It is embedded in your core, your heart, and your soul.”

Laura L. Engel

Author of You’ll Forget This Ever Happened: Secrets, Shame, and Adoption in the 1960s

“In Framing a Life, Roberta constructs—from fragments of past scenes, journal entries, night dreams, changing states of being, and reflections—a textual home for herself and the reader to reside in, inside the territory of a culturally evolving America. This narrative—of a return to a whole and expanded self, one evoking Walt Whitman’s iconic line (“I am large, I contain multitudes’)—is a timely permission to illuminate the manifold pieces of one’s own life and reassemble them into a compassionate definition of oneself, alive at a certain moment, in a certain place, in human history.”

Marj Hahne

Poet, writer, editor, teacher and member of

“Roberta Kuriloff uses the metaphor of home to deepen our understanding of belonging. Overcoming a stark life in an orphanage she becomes a lawyer driven to become a voice for abandoned and abused children and ultimately builds a home of her own in Maine to shelter her loved ones. An inspiring memoir about the construction and union of both an inner and outer life.”

Maureen Murdock, Ph.D.

Author of The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness and Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory.

“Kuriloff tells her amazing story of resilience. This is the journey of her survival, her intense drive to succeed, and the later death of her partner—a woman she loved. Finding the surprising depths of her spiritual side, she not only relearns how to love, but she also relearns how to live. It is an intensely personal yet very relatable work.”

Linda Bergman

Screenwriter, producer, and author of So You Think Your Life’s A Movie: The Sequel

“Framing a Life: Building The Space to Be Me is the story of one woman’s quest for self-understanding, love, and the meaning of home. On days when I despair that nothing much is going right, I look to Roberta and her courage, perseverance, and optimism. Her story could have been the story of a bitter woman, beaten down by life and loss. It is anything but. It is a shining light held aloft for any woman struggling to find that place within that is whole, complete and at peace.”

Cathleen O’Connor, PhD,

Author, High Heels on the Hamster Wheel (Balboa Press, 2014), The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary (Adams Media, 2010), and The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory (Anchala Press, 2018)

“Rarely have I read a memoir that was so captivating. Roberta Kuriloff’s resilience and tenacity in the face of adversity is inspiring. Through her work as a lawyer and her interactions with family and friends, she demonstrates what it means to be a compassionate feminist and a joyful, spiritual person.”

Patricia Ould, PhD

Co-author of Same-Sex Marriage, Context, and Lesbian Identity: Wedded but Not Always a Wife

“Roberta’s memoir is honest and poignant and shares with grace how she overcame her life’s tragedies. Her courage and optimism and the ways she found and built her true home— in the deepest sense of the word—will uplift and inspire many readers.”

Rivvy Neshama

Author of Recipes for a Sacred Life: True Stories and a Few Miracles

“This remarkable memoir- one of the deepest I’ve ever read- is my kind of revelation. The book made me cry out, cover my eyes, mourn, and beam with pride and appreciate the trials that led to my own emotional and spiritual growth. Roberta Kuriloff’s story will find a place alongside Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and Amy Chua’s, “Tiger Mother.” Permeated with humility, bravery, and a bold feminist intersection, “Framing a Life,” is a triumph for many of us with both hurting and joyful hearts. It will last in our times and long, long into the future. I stand in solidarity with Ms. Kuriloff, her family and for everyone she touches with her wise and magnificent soul.”

June S. Gould, Ph.D.

Author of “The Writer in All of Us, Plume and E.P. Dutton. Workshop leader for The International Women’s Writing Guild.