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Lift Hardcover – March 2, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Penned as a letter to her two young daughters, the latest from author Corrigan is an attempt to illuminate their particular relationship ("I want to put down on paper how things started with us"), and an ambitious, inspirational meditation on parenthood in general. A slim volume, it perhaps suffers for its brevity but recounts engagingly events like Corrigan and her husband's decision to start a family, and baby Claire's bout with viral meningitis, "the beginning of how I came to know what a bold and dangerous thing parenthood is." She also examines the gifts all mothers hope to present their kids: "a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of a tribe, a run at happiness." Fans of Corrigan's The Middle Place, a memoir of her fight with cancer, will welcome the return of figures like Corrigan's father, Greenie, and should appreciate her wistful but down-to-earth thoughts on parenthood. Newcomers might be less inspired, but should appreciate Corrigan's charm and honesty.
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"Although we've never met, I love Kelly Corrigan like a friend. Her work gives me a rich sense of intimacy with someone who is full of life and hard-fought wisdom. She's hilarious, tender-hearted, tough, loyal, wild, and screwed-up--like all the coolest women I know."―Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies

Praise for The Middle Place

"Funny and irresistibly exuberant."―O, The Oprah Magazine

Praise for The Middle Place

"Come for the writing, stay for the drama. Or vice versa. Either way, you won't regret it."―San Francisco Chronicle

Praise for The Middle Place

"Plan to laugh, cry, and be consumed by Kelly Corrigan."―Winston-Salem Journal

Praise for The Middle Place

"For two days I ignored my family while I devoured Kelly Corrigan's memoir. I spent a good part of that time crying, but mostly I was laughing . . . She captures our hearts and teaches us something new about family, love, and yes, even death."―Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; First Edition edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelly Corrigan is, more than anything else, the mother of two young girls. While they're at school, Kelly writes a newspaper column, the occasional magazine article, and possible chapters of a novel. She is also the creator of CircusOfCancer.org, a website to teach people how to help a friend through breast cancer. Kelly lives outside San Francisco with her husband, Edward Lichty.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was on the bus, on the way to collect our daughter at her best friend's apartment, so of course I was reading. The book was "Lift", Kelly Corrigan's 84-page snip of a book. My ambition was to finish it in less than 20 minutes --- the time it takes a slow bus, in late afternoon traffic, to get across town.

Yes, I read fast and I am often in a hurry to boot, but I was working toward a personal best here for another reason: I had figured the book out. The arc of it was simple. Corrigan's love letter to her two young daughters becomes a meditation on Rilke's line, "The knowledge of impermanence that haunts our days is their very fragrance."

That's an interesting idea. Especially to parents --- we've all had it. The ticking clock. How the days are long, but the years are short. How our kids can't know what they mean to us until they have kids who mean everything to them.

That commonality --- feelings that apply to soccer moms and cynical moms alike --- is the reason that "Lift" will be a Mother's Day gift of choice deep into the next millennium. For Kelly Corrigan is the poet laureate of the ordinary. There's no cliche she doesn't kiss on the mouth. If she has a thought that isn't universal, she suppresses it. No wonder she is staggeringly popular with middle-aged women --- she is her readers.

Proof: Her video about women who transcend the dailiness of life, the cruelties of age and the shock of death has been viewed 4,655,000 times since December, 2008.

Proof: "The Middle Place" - her first book, which is about her marriage and her cancer and her dad's cancer, her kids and her childhood --- is a staple of reading groups.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a guy. Reading this book helped me to understand how women think, how women feel, what women want, and a lot of things I never knew before. It helped me to understand my mother, my wife, my sister, and all the other women and mothers who have always seemed so mysterious to me.

The author does a fabulous job of conjuring those telling moments in her family life. Her economical use of words in distilling those moments and emotions was simply magical.

Guys, read it when she is finished. You'll be glad that you did.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up my copy of Lift and sat down on the floor of my bedroom and just read it - I didn't move for an hour. Just as I did with the Middle Place, I laughed and wept. Mostly I felt relieved that like Kelly I don't know what souvenirs to keep and don't know whether I am doing damage when I "verbally discipline" my adorable children but tonight I found myself giggling in my kitchen as I cleaned up the dinner dishes and listened to my 6 and 8 yr olds try to figure out all the words to a Ben Folds song.

Thank you Kelly for telling your stories. They not only entertain, they resonate.
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Format: Hardcover
Kelly Corrigan wrote with wit and a never-waning sense of wonder about her parents in the 2008 bestseller THE MIDDLE PLACE. She does the same for her children in LIFT, which is short and sweet, occasionally sentimental, stylishly sagacious, and, at times, sardonic. It is a cross between a mother's diary and a sea captain's log, mixing the salty behind-the-scenes true grit of parenthood with a parent's most secret longings for her children.

Kelly has two daughters, who were barely toddling when she discovered that she had breast cancer, the subject of her earlier book. Now they are growing up, maybe too quickly for her taste. "You won't remember how it started with us, the things that I know about you that you don't even know about yourselves...you'll remember middle school and high school, but you'll have changed by then." One suspects --- no, one is sure --- that LIFT is Kelly's way of trying to guarantee that no matter what happens, her girls will have a written set of memories to cherish when the incidents of childhood are long forgotten.

One reason why Kelly may have more than the ordinary mother's zeal to keep those precious moments alive is found in the story of her friend Kathy and Kathy's son Aaron. Aaron was "a joker and an optimist and a ponderer of great and small things." One night he went out to "swing by and say hello to some people" and never came home. "I tell you about Aaron," she writes to her little girls, "because I want you to live longer than he did."

With cutting-edge humor that any parent can identify with, Corrigan tells us that "my default answer to everything is no." But, she confesses to her daughters, "What you probably wouldn't believe is how much I want to say yes.
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Format: Hardcover
I had it marked on the calendar the day that LIFT got released and ran to Borders after work to get a copy (and also the audio version so I could hear Mike E's music)...as soon as I walked in I chuckled because it was front and center as soon as you walked in the door and I thought wow, Kelly's mom would be so happy!! All her hard work paid off. I devoured that book immediately and then also listened to the audio version on the way to work. That book was so heartfelt, and beautifully written that I literally wanted to tell everyone I knew about it. I wanted to talk about it SO bad. My boyfriend and I planned a trip to Philly the week LIFT was released for that Friday-Sunday...on Friday's car ride down I negotiated for him to listen to the audio version of LIFT and he can have the other 3+ hours to listen to anything he wanted and I would not say a word. I think he knew what kind of impact this book had on me and gave in to my request. I thought he was going to complain and throw a fit...instead he was just as moved and touched as I was that something shifted in him internally about our relationship (he have been together for 7 ½ years). We discussed various parts of the book that were either hilarious or how we would be in different situations and what we want to be like as parents, etc. Needless to say, he was not prepared to do this but that evening he proposed and this book had a lot to do with it...we realized that it's the caring and sharing that comes when life gets busy. Bills need to be paid and errands need to be run. It's the laughing and teasing and working things out. Its learning and knowing what your partner needs without even asking. It's the jokes that only the two of you get. It is about building it together--the good, bad, ugly and like Kelly said Divine...her story is a celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails and I hope someday I can be half the mother she is.

Jessi S
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