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Mamaji: A Memoir

Description Elisheba Haqq, the youngest of seven children has lost her mother, Mamaji to cancer. She is living with a cold and unfeeling stepmother and searching for answers. The small-town Minnesotans believe the family members are the “perfect immigrants.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Haqq offers an honest and atypical perspective in her memoir Mamaji. She’s not the usual Indian immigration success story. She doesn’t attend an Ivy League college, have a Bollywood-inspired wedding or become a neurosurgeon. Instead, with humor and introspection, she shares how she and her siblings contend with a manipulative stepmother. Elisheba battles to salvage her father’s love while the fast-fading memory of her mother lingers in the background. Despite her absence, Mamaji gives her children grit and a deep devotion for each other enabling them to flourish despite their home life. Mamaji is a story about a daughter longing to connect with her lost mother. It’s about a mother’s bond to her children and how her love brings great strength and resilience. It’s a story of redemption and forgiveness despite blatant injustice and deceit. It proves a difficult past does not determine future love and happiness. About the Author Elisheba Haqq was born in Chandigarh, India, but was brought up in Minnesota, USA. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently teaches writing at Rutgers University. Her work has appeared in A Letter for my Mother, Gateways, She.knows.com, and New Jersey Monthly. An RN by profession, she has also been published in Creative Nursing and Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. She enjoys unplanned travel, black tea, and printed books. Elisheba lives in New Jersey with her family and can be found online at www.elishebahaqq.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Praise Elisheba Haqq deftly weaves the loss of her beloved mother throughout this coming of age memoir. It takes courage to tell as it is, and Haqq does not waver from the truth. Ultimately what comes across is the deep sense of loss and the longing for times bygone, yet forging ahead in the face of injustice and a yearning for love. The fierce attachment to her family gives Haqq strength and humor to get through life, and she infuses her writing with these. Read more…

River Town Girl: A Memoir

Description River Town Girl: A Memoir is about growing up in a small, working-class town on the Hudson River in the 1950s, ‘60s, and early ‘70s. One mile away across the river is New York City, but it might just as well be a thousand miles away. The town, Edgewater, has 4,000 people. Cut off by the river, which runs along it on the east, and the Palisades cliffs, which run along it on the west, it is rich in eccentric characters, and its life is shaped by the rhythms of the Hudson. The town is fertile ground for the delights and the powers of story telling. Today that version of the town is gone, buried under New Jersey’s high-rise Gold Coast. This story is about how a child of the 1950s becomes an adolescent of the 1960s and gradually but finally finds the strength to finish growing up. A bookish only child, the power of words to make sense of the world is life saving for her. In her books as a child and in her mother’s stories and her father’s journals, she comes to know a self both damaged and resilient. Later stories told in psychotherapy make sense of the overwhelming anxiety that threatens her. Then the stories she writes as a newspaper reporter lead her into city rooms that become her second home and into assignments that usher her into a larger world. The author treats memory as more episodic and fluctuating than traditional narratives do. Written in prose, poetry, lists, fragments, and dialogue and in both facts and imaginings, this patchwork creates a complex, coming-of-age story about a girl, a family, a town, a river, and a time now gone. It does so in carefully crafted language that seeks to delight readers. What many people know about the lower Hudson Valley may begin and end with the Clearwater sloop, but the full breadth of these lives lived along the river goes well beyond. About the Author Lynn Litterine has been a journalist and a writing teacher. Praise Litterine recalls growing up in a small town across the Hudson River from New York City in this original, poetic debut memoir. The author’s first memory of Edgewater, New Jersey, was standing on a stool at 3 years old looking over the town to the Hudson River beyond. Read more…

Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind

Robert Day has invented a new form, the Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind memoirs–brief, whimsical, sometimes touching, reminiscences about his brushes (often friendships) with literary greatness. He treats Shakespeare, William Stafford, Mavis Gallant, John Barth, Ray Carver, Walter Bernstein, and Michael de Montaigne. Some he met and knew in person; others he met in his mind. But the collision is sparkling in its reverent irreverence, airy, gossamer-thin, a playful and informal jeu d’esprit that takes itself not very seriously, yet with flashes of seriousness and wit. Read more…

Hidden Lives: My Three Grandmothers

Hidden Lives presents compelling true stories of three New York City immigrant families—one Jewish, one German, and one Italian—set in three tenement neighborhoods—the Lower East Side, the South Bronx, and Hell’s Kitchen—during the first decades of the twentieth century. In each of these narratives, the central character is a woman without power and without voice. Their stories, compassionately told, bring to life statistics that record the city’s stunning population growth between 1880 and 1910. The three women are Rogers’s grandmothers, their stories kept secret for almost a century. She has chosen to break the silence that surrounded their lives and pay tribute to women too long hidden from view. Hidden Lives is also the story of her search for her families’ past. Read more…

It Must Give Pleasure

It Must Give Pleasure is both a memoir and a deeply imaginative treatise on poetry, literature, art and life. And since Roberta Bienvenu’s life has been rich in friendship and fortunate in mentors, we also meet men and women whose ideas and art helped define the culture of the last century. Read more…

A Vision of Neon

A Vision of Neon is a story of two friends—one who survives the complex years of adolescence and one who does not—and the unconditional love and commitment between these young girls. Wild, sharp-tongued red-head Kelsey embodies the confidence that her shy and quiet best friend, the story’s narrator, only dreams of. But as time passes, Kelsey’s seeming confidence and acts of teenage rebellion become overshadowed by day-long crying spells, invented stories of fictitious friends and thin slashes of scab that mark her skin. In high school, Kelsey descends into mental illness, while the narrator attempts to maintain a normal teenage life, despite continuing efforts to support her suicidal friend. However, both girls must ultimately face one difficult fact: regardless of their longings, Kelsey’s sickness has a debilitating stranglehold on them both. Read more…

Desperate Love: A Father’s Memoir

In this searing memoir, a father confronts the complex issues of love and hate as he struggles to deal with his emotionally troubled and often violent son. Desperate Love examines the lengths that parents go to preserve their families and rescue children from themselves. Often gritty and occasionally funny, this extraordinary memoir follows one father’s quest for love, faith, redemption and understanding in a life beleaguered with infertility, adoption and adolescent aggression. Read more…

and then there were three…

Supriya Bhatnagar’s and then there were three… is a collection of personal essays about a family rebuilding its life after early tragedy. Set in a ten-year time period of the author’s life, the book begins with the death of the only man in her life, her father, when she was ten, and ends with the entry of the next man in her life, her husband. The accounts of life are both particular and universal—the joys and the sorrows of being raised in a family headed by a single mother bringing up two girls in the male-dominated 1970s India. Read more…

What We Choose to Remember

What is the relationship between memory and imagination? How unbridled is the power of story? How intimidating? The narrative essays in What We Choose to Remember tread the tenuous, shifting grounds of memory, revealing how our imperfect recollections shape not only how we live our lives, but the act of storytelling itself. Read more…