On My Own at 107: Reflections on Life Without Bessie

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9780062514851: On My Own at 107: Reflections on Life Without Bessie

The surviving sister of the pair whose story was told in Having Our Say recounts her transition from mourning the loss of her sister, Bessie, to a renewed zest for life, symbolized by Bessie's flower garden. $150,000 ad/promo.

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From AudioFile:

Sadie and Bessie Delany became famous with the release of their book, Having Our Say, at the ages of 100 and 102. These two extraordinary black women shared one hundred years of life together. Sadie wrote this work after the death of her beloved friend and sister. Gloria Foster is "Sweet Sadie" Delany. The listener is driven to tears as she talks to Bessie about daily life without her. She weeps pitifully recalling Bessie's glorious garden and her many acts of kindness and then laughs heartily as she recalls Bessie's feistiness in the presence of Hillary Clinton and Bill and Camille Cosby. This is a truly moving performance. B.J.P. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From Kirkus Reviews:

From Sadie, the surviving Delany sister, an inspiriting testimony to love and faith as she recalls life with Bessie and the challenge of learning to live on without her. With coauthor Hearth, who first brought the remarkable African-American Delany sisters to public attention in 1993 with their bestselling memoir Having Our Say, Sadie now describes the year following Bessie's death in September 1995. The two had been together since their distant childhood in North Carolina and all through the long remaining years in New York. As the older sister by two years, she never expected to survive Bessie: ``It doesn't seem natural that I outlived you . . . learning that I am a separate human being . . . for the first time in my life.'' But in the months ahead, Sadie does learn how to endure on her own and how to find pleasure in living. Summoning up the same religious faith that carried her through the worst excesses of Jim Crow legislation, she offers her memories of Bessie, and the conviction that Bessie is in heaven with their parents as a consolation for her grief. She punctuates her account of the passing year with comments on the flowers Bessie loved and cultivated in her garden, comforting quotations from the Bible, and what she's learned about life: ``To make the best of life, to keep trying, no matter what.'' But the same zest that made the sisters centenarian celebrities also enables Sadie to make a fulfilling life on her own. She starts writing this book, educates the young about the past, gives a party to celebrate Bessie's birthday, and is honored in turn on her 107th birthday. By the year's end, she's busy and content: ``Don't worry about me, Sister Bessie. Child, I've got plans.'' A bracing reminder from an exemplary teacher that life, a rare gift, must be savored in the living. (illustrations, not seen) ($150,000 ad/promo; TV satellite tour) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Sarah Louise Delany, Amy Hill Hearth
Published by Harper San Francisco (1997)
ISBN 10: 0062514857 ISBN 13: 9780062514851
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Delany, Sarah Louise; Hearth, Amy Hill
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Sarah Louise Delany, Amy Hill Hearth
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