Leslie Ferguson is an award-winning author whose debut memoir, When I Was Her Daughter, won the 2022 Memoir Prize for Books in the “Resilience” category. After earning her teaching credential from the University of Redlands, she taught high school English at her alma mater for nearly two decades. During that time, she obtained a master’s degree in English literature and an MFA in creative writing from Chapman University. Now, she enjoys working as an editor in the publishing industry. Her writing has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. A member of the San Diego Memoir Writers Association and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, Leslie is a repeat performer at So Say We All’s VAMP and Poets Underground. She lives with one husband and two cats in the greater San Diego area, where she binge-watches dark character dramas and reminisces about her glory days as an All-American basketball player and collegiate Hall-of-Fame athlete.
When I Was Her Daughter: A Memoir
Seven-year-old Leslie has a serious problem. Someone is trying to kill her. She and her little brother must confront the stark reality of living with their mother’s raging psychosis. Other family members try to help, but they are no match for the violence and unpredictability that comes with mental illness. Once in foster care, Leslie learns that life doesn't improve just because she's free of her mom. All seems lost . . . until one simple and unexpected question changes Leslie's world forever.
When I Was Her Daughter is a found-family story of compassion and forgiveness. With raw honesty, Ferguson depicts her journey through madness, loss, and a broken child-welfare system where only the lucky and most resilient succeed.