Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir

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9780066211152: Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir

A stirring memoir from the acclaimed writer praised by Thomas Pynchon for having "the guts to go into the deepest core of herself, her time, her history, and risk more than anybody else has so far, just out of a love for the truth and a need to tell it."

Called "breathtakingly ambitious" by the New York Times for her novels' forays into war, history, the lives of the homeless, and the minds of cyborgs, Marge Piercy, one of the few writers of our time to be highly praised as both a poet and a novelist, turns her lens inward for the first time as she shares her thoughts on life and explores her development as a woman and writer. She revisits the people and places that have shaped her experiences and inspired her work. And she pays tribute to the one loving constant that has offered her comfort and meaning even as the faces and events in her life have changed: her beloved cats.

With searing honesty Piercy tells of her strained childhood growing up in a religiously split working-class family in Detroit. She examines her myriad friendships and relationships, including two painful early marriages, and reveals their effects on her creativity and career. More than a reminiscence of things past, however, Sleeping with Cats is also a celebration of the present and the future, as Piercy shares her views on aging, creativity, and finding a lasting and improbable love with a man fourteen years younger than herself. A chronicle of the turbulent and exciting journey of one artist's life, Sleeping with Cats is a deeply intimate, unforgettable story.

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About the Author:

Marge Piercy is the author of the memoir Sleeping with Cats and fifteen novels, including Three Women and Woman on the Edge of Time, as well as sixteen books of poetry, including Colors Passing Through Us, The Art of Blessing the Day, and Circles on the Water. She lives on Cape Cod, with her husband, Ira Wood, the novelist and publisher of Leapfrog Press.

From Publishers Weekly:

Born in the mid-1930s in a tough Detroit neighborhood, poet and novelist Piercy (Dance the Eagle to Sleep) fought grueling battles in her youth, involving difficult relationships with her parents, participation in a street gang and more. When she became pregnant at 17, her mother left her alone to perform an abortion on herself she almost bled to death and her hostile father once broke her fingers in the car door when she was late for a shopping trip. Piercy notes that her memoir's focus is her emotional life, but that understates the book's rich picture of her literary and political life. That life embraces 15 novels and just as many books of poetry, three marriages (one a 15-year open relationship in a communal household), sojourns in Chicago, San Francisco, Brooklyn and Paris, and a deep engagement in the political movements of the 1960s through the '80s. She peppers these events with charming vignettes of the many cats she's befriended during her life. Piercy is as convincing writing about her rough beginnings as she is describing her present status as the "cat lady" of her tiny Cape Cod town. "Remembering," she writes, "is like one of those old-fashioned black-and-white-tile floors: wherever I stand or sit, the tiles converge upon me. So our pasts always seem to lead us directly to our present choices. We turn and make a pattern of the chaos of our lives so that we belong exactly where we are." B&w photos.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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