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Glitter and Glue: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Kelly Corrigan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Kelly Corrigan on her new memoir Glitter and Glue

Glitter and Glue

I’m Irish. That must be where the luck comes from, the luck required to find a publisher after filling diaries and journals for thirty years, first in a gingham wonderland from Sears, then in a dorm room in Virginia, finally in a fixer-upper near Oakland, California.

My first book, The Middle Place, was about my father, Greenie, who was very sick at the same time that I was very sick. Next, in 2010, I tried to capture what it has been to my daughters’ mother in Lift. Finally, with Glitter and Glue, my mother gets her due. Now, Mary Corrigan is a complicated topic, as most mothers are. Think stoic, gritty, unbending; one part saint, two parts sergeant. Or, as she put it, “Your father’s the glitter, but I’m the glue. It takes both, Kelly.”

I hope that somehow, given the toppling pile of books on your nightstand, you can find an evening to spare for this story of how I came to wonder who my mom was before I arrived, what motherhood had done to her and who she had become since I left home. Parenthood is so distorting; we all deserve a second, longer look.

From Booklist

When mother of two Corrigan struggles with cancer, she remembers a mother she never met more than 20 years earlier in 1992 in Australia. Back then, seeking money to enhance the next leg of her round-the-world travels, Corrigan became the nanny for a widower, John, whose family—five-year-old Martin and seven-year-old Milly as well as a garage-living stepson and an in-law-apartment-living father-in-law—had just lost their matriarch to cancer. Though it’s a true story, Corrigan has changed the names and some of the details to disguise identities. Here, the memories of her work as companion, surrogate mom, and onetime lover to various family members are filtered through Corrigan’s experiences, good and bad, of herself as mother and herself as daughter (her mom’s admonitions and pronouncements, served up in italics, support the young nanny as well as the text, then and now). The flavor of what a youthful, journal-writing Corrigan probably once hoped this book would be—a spectacle of travel and awesome experience—comes through in the writing but doesn’t disturb this touching, hard-won paean to mothering and parenting, living and losing. --Eloise Kinney

Review

“Kelly Corrigan’s heartfelt homage to motherhood is every bit as tough and funny as it is nostalgic and searching. It’s a tale about growing up, gaining wisdom, and reconciling with Mom (something we all must do eventually), but it’s also an honest meditation on our deepest fears of death and abandonment. I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
“Kelly Corrigan is no stranger to mining the depths of her heart. . . . [In] Glitter and Glue,Corrigan turns the microscope on her relationship with her own mother. . . . Through her own experience of caring for children, she begins, for the first time, to appreciate the complex woman who raised her.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Corrigan [is] a lively, nimble cheerleader for the joys of family.”People

“[A] funny, sparkling memoir.”More
 
“Corrigan writes with warmth and delicate humor.”The Washington Post

“[An] irresistible cocktail of lyrical writing and solid, useful insight.”San Francisco Chronicle

“In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan’s memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children—as well as everything else that really matters.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
 
“Kelly Corrigan parses the bittersweet complexities of motherhood with humor and grace. Her writing has depth and buoyancy and light. It's a river on a summer day. You slip into the current, laughing, and are carried away by it. Glitter and Glue is a perfect gift for anyone with a mother.”—Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff and Spook
 
Glitter and Glue explores how and why, in our exuberant and impatient youth, we launch ourselves into the world at large—and how and why we eventually circle back to home port, where, waiting for us, is the parent with whom we’ve had the more complicated relationship. Kelly Corrigan’s thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn’t that why we read?”—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water

“In Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan gives us a lovely and insightful lesson in what it means to be both a mother and a daughter. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and I know that you will gobble it up in a single day, just like I did.”—Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother
 
“I teared up so many times while reading Glitter and Glue, thinking, ‘See? You never stop needing your mother.’ Yet with openhearted wisdom, Kelly Corrigan beautifully illustrates the idea that life goes on no matter what—and that even the impossible is always possible.”—Vanessa Diffenbaugh, New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers
 
“Some books you quite like, some you even love, but especially rare are the books that remind you what reading is for. Glitter and Glue is my favorite reminder. Nobody tells a more natural story—with more easy charm, with such personal warmth and style—than Kelly Corrigan. In Glitter and Glue she’s your dream tour guide, making you laugh as she points out the biggies—love and death, mothers and daughters, sickness and health.  Buying this book feels like investing in a lifelong friend.”—Darin Strauss, award-winning author of Half a Life

About the Author

Kelly Corrigan is the author of The Middle Place and Lift, both New York Times bestsellers. She is also a contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Medium. Kelly co-founded Notes & Words, an annual benefit concert for Children’s Hospital Oakland featuring writers and musicians onstage together. Her YouTube channel, which includes video essays like “Transcending” and interviews with writers like Michael Lewis and Anna Quindlen, has been viewed by millions. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Edward Lichty, their two daughters, and a poorly behaved chocolate Lab, Hershey.
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