Collections. Stamps, spoons, seashells, scrapbooks—they’re a familiar part of a human life, a gathering together of objects, each imbued with more meaning than it would have on its own. For Donnan Runkel, the varied containers crowded on top of her dresser became not just a collection of boxes to hold her jewelry but a link to people in her life who made her who she is. Hers is a collection of influences and experiences, changes and challenges, held within containers as unique as the individuals who gave them to her. A tin box sits beside sterling silver filigree, cut crystal next to painted paper, Russian enamel next to Haitian jungle wood. Each one of these boxes contains a rich story of transformation that, woven together, become a unique memoir. In Boxes: Lifting the Lid on an American Life, we hear vivid, often hilarious, recollections of a life that began in awkward self-doubt and blossomed into the discovery of true love and the triumphs of motherhood and career. Through this journey, we learn that the pain of life folds into the many-faceted depths of becoming.