Friday, September 6, 2019

Caregiving and Memoir at SUNY Book Festival Next Week

We talk a lot about the Literature of Caregiving here. Caregivers need books about caregiving. Yes, we need the how-to books—absolutely. But we also need books by caregivers, and we especially need beautiful, well-written books by caregivers.

In Albany, next week, we have two of the most beautiful writers on caregiving coming to the SUNY Albany Book Festival—on Saturday September 14th. In a day that includes more than a dozen keynotes and several dozen authors signing, we’ll have two featured writers whose stories might scare us—bad things happened--but who ultimately inspire and encourage us.

Allison Pataki will be here discussing her memoir, “Beauty in the Broken Places—a memoir of love, faith, and resilience.” When she was five-months pregnant, and they were heading off on their babymoon,  her 30-year old husband suffered a massive stroke. Pataki became caregiver to a newborn and an impaired husband. 

Presenting with Pataki will be Abigail Thomas, author of the memoir, “Three Dog Life”—the story of her stunningly disrupted marriage when her husband suffered a severe brain injury, and how she faced the terrible decisions that followed and how she made a different, and fulfilling life.

At their presentation (11:30am to 12:15) we’ll have a chance to hear about structuring memoir and structuring one’s life after such huge disruptions to relationships and careers, and how one makes art—these books are truly works of art--out of shock, pain and crisis.

For some of us caregiving comes on fast—as it happened for these women and writers—with a call, a fall, a break. For others, we move in more slowly into it —no less tragically—with dementia, cancers, neurological illnesses. But for all of us who are caregivers we face this disruption and the challenge to make new lives—and maybe art. And all of us can learn from these writers who let us see the pain, the grief and especially the joy that is there as well.

Join us in Albany next Saturday or get these books for yourself or for a friend.