Reading Lips: A Memoir of Kisses
Claudia Sternbach (Author)
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DescriptionKisses, even the ones that don't happen, can be the trace of what's constant when life changes. In childhood, when what seems to define everything is competition--for style, for knowing, for experience--a kiss is the first first. When a girl's father moves out and chooses a new family, a kiss on the head from him may be the trace of constancy that she wants most. Later, such things take on a different flavor. Sometimes the kiss she wants doesn't come. Sometimes the one she wouldn't have is forced upon her. From time to time, the one she has kissed before is lost to her. Some kisses are final. When things are most hectic a kiss can be a celebration. And when circumstances grow threatening--to a woman, her family, her sister--a kiss becomes the reassertion of the most vital connections. The rich story in these essays rings with good humor and with moving wistfulness. Throughout, Sternbach maintains a perfect balance between them as her story moves from the bittersweet desires of childhood on through loss and love. Reading Lips is the tale of one woman who is just trying to get life right.
April 05, 2011
5.7 X 0.57 X 8.23 inches | 0.58 pounds
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About the Author
Claudia Sternbach is the author of two previous memoirs, Now Breathe, a very personal journey through breast cancer (Whiteaker Press) and Reading Lips, a memoir of kisses (Unbridled Books).Claudia was a newspaper columnist for many years and has been published often in The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, and The Chicago Tribune. She has also been published in several anthologies and is the former editor-in-chief of the literary journal, Memoir.When she isn't writing, Claudia paints. When she isn't writing or painting, she can be found on her daily walk on the beach. And at the end of the day she enjoys a cocktail on her back yard swing while watching the squirrels trapeze branch to branch in the redwoods. Claudia lives on the coast of Northern California with her husband, Michael.
"A woman's life recalled through kisses: the blissful, the unwelcome, and those she longed for that never came."--People Magazine "Moving....what makes this book so easy to love is its offbeat execution...her breezy prose has a natural, effortless quality that is surely the result of great care."--Newest.net "Small moments and large tragedies are handled with unselfconscious delicacy and humor in this sweet read."--Library Journal's Booksmack "Sternbach...is an impressive stylist and a candid guide through her life. Although the reality of kissing serves as the connecting thread, each essay is grounded in one of a wide variety of complementary topics, such as the first love as an adolescent, best friends, parents, sisters, birthdays, tennis, summer camp, air travel, marriage, divorce, cancer, rape and death--among others. Sternbach has carefully considered how to make a life story interesting through unusual yet approachable formatting, and she throws humor, sarcasm and self-deprecation into the mix....A memorable, laugh-out-loud, cry-out-loud essay collection for both genders and all ages."--Kirkus Reviews "Excellent memoir, 'Reading Lips, ' reveals a life, one kiss at a time"--Good Times, Santa Cruz "Tells of the kisses that shaped her life and uses them to tell of her search to get life right in a sharp, funny memoir, ideal for other women seeking the same thing."--bookviews.com "Witty, insightful, and full of promise. Sternbach goes through her own tragedies and has seen fit to share them with us in a way that makes life seem like an adventure; something to be taken advantage of and embraced. This book is recommended for women, but men could learn a thing or two as well."--Tulsa Books Examiner