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Lift Hardcover – March 2, 2010
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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
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Lift is ostensibly a letter to Corrigan’s daughters, something for them to have when they reach a certain age, or maybe one day when their mother is gone. Perhaps it was Corrigan’s bout with breast cancer that started her thinking about things. She chronicled that experience, interlaced with her own childhood stories, in her first book, The Middle Place. Or maybe it was the horror of ovarian cancer which cost her not only her ovaries, but the chance for more children, something she says she may never get over. Whatever the genesis, Corrigan’s cancer allowed her to let people in and do for her as she never could before. As a result, she doesn’t look at life the way most people do. She knows that the long haul could be short indeed, and she views each moment through her close up lens -- Corrigan is also an excellent photographer -- knowing that it’s a crap shoot, that we could get just this one day or 10,000 more, and soaking it all in while it’s there in front of her. I met her briefly at a Jr. League Author’s Luncheon in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; the woman has an uncanny ability to connect with everyone she meets, size them up in a few seconds and give them exactly what they need -- no veils or hidden doors, just open communication and full on love -- as if there’s not a moment to lose. At first you think she might be BS’ing you, or that maybe she’s looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but then you realize she’s popped out the lenses and there’s nothing obstructing her view. Plus, like her writing, she’s funny as hell.
Lift is not a memoir in the traditional sense, but a brief historic family interlude told through its still strong, still beating heart center. You can read Lift in an afternoon, but like Corrigan herself, you’ll remember it for a lifetime.
I suggest you read it and pass it on- Maybe even give them as gifts to moms you know.