Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century

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Product Details

$25.95  $24.13
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.6 X 1.1 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Lorene Cary is the author of the memoirs Ladysitting and Black Ice, three novels, including The Price of a Child, and one book for young readers. She founded Art Sanctuary and, teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, and has written a one-act opera of Ladysitting. She lives in Philadelphia.


As Bette Davis is known for saying, "Old age ain't no place for sissies." Lorene Cary's Nana is no sissy. Cary's chronicle of this centenarian (+1) is written with candor, warmth, and love. The final chapters are critical reading for anyone with an aging loved one at the end of their life.--Betsy Lerner, author of The Bridge Ladies
A thoroughly engaging memoir...In telling her Nana's story, Cary invites readers into a complex extended family, replete with the conflict and contradiction that accompany most families. At the same time, Cary recounts a distinctly American story: flight from racial terrorism in the south, economic and academic success against harsh odds, and the often-fraught mixing of races.--Martha Anne Toll "NPR"
Not just a caregiving memoir; it's also a dive into Cary's own history...What resonates loudest in Ladysitting, however, is the love that Cary gives back to her grandmother.--Dan Marshall "New York Times Book Review"
Radiant.-- "O Magazine"
A heartfelt, multifaceted story...This reflective memoir steeped in love and forgiveness explores a devoted granddaughter's perceptions about her grandmother.-- "Shelf Awareness"
With admiration, triumph, and love, Cary captures the universal experience of close family loss.-- "Booklist"
A candid and sensitive memoir...Thoughtful reflections on pain, love, and family.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Ladysitting is boldly literate and a brilliant work of art. Its astute references flow from grand opera to the vernacular shrewdness of African-American signifying. Cary's impeccable prose and astutely parsed narrative mark a paradigm shift in American memoir. Rather than a remake of the singular African-American declaration of literacy 'I was born, ' Cary teaches us what we have achieved through the extended plurality of 'we.' She teaches us through riveting prose, brave self-critique, and stunning observational powers of what poet Robert Hayden called 'love's austere and lonely offices.' Ladysitting is a lyrical odyssey of the multiply-descended and cross-generational heritage of black diaspora in a strange land. Nana is the shrewd, eldercare captain of the voyage.--Houston Baker, Distinguished University Professor, Vanderbilt University