Judy Goldman Losing My Sister: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780895875839

Losing My Sister: A Memoir

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9780895875839: Losing My Sister: A Memoir
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“Family stories grow to be bigger than the experiences themselves,” writes Judy Goldman in her memoir, Losing My Sister. “They become home to us, tell us who we are, who we want to be. Over the years, they take on more and more embellishments and adornments until they eclipse the actual memory. They become our past―just as a snapshot will, at first, enhance a memory, then replace it.” As she remembers it now, Goldman’s was an idyllic childhood, charmed even, filled with parental love and sisterly confidences. Growing up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Judy and her older sister, Brenda, did everything together. Though it was clear from an early age that their personalities were very different (Judy was the “sweet” one, Brenda, the "strong" one), they continued to be fairly inseparable into adulthood. But the love between sisters is complex. Though Judy and Brenda remained close, Goldman recalls struggling to break free of her prescribed role as the agreeable little sister and to assert herself even as she built her own life and started a family. The sisters’ relationship became further strained by the illnesses and deaths of their parents, and later, by the discovery that each had tumors in their breasts―Judy’s benign, Brenda’s malignant. The two sisters came back together shortly before the possibility of permanent loss became very real. In her uniquely lyrical and poignant style, Goldman deftly navigates past events and present emotions, drawing readers in as she explores the joys and sorrows of family, friendship, and sisterhood.

Judy Goldman is the author of two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back, and two books of poetry. Her work has been published in Real Simple magazine, and in many literary journals―including Kenyon Review, Southern Review, Ohio Review, Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner―as well as in numerous anthologies. Her commentaries have aired on public radio and she teaches at writers’ conferences throughout the country. She received the Fortner Writer and Community Award for "outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger community." She’s also the recipient of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, the Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction, the Gerald Cable Poetry Prize, the Roanoke-Chowan Prize for Poetry, the Oscar Arnold Young Prize for Poetry, and the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for Poetry. The Slow Way Back was shortlisted for the Southeastern Independent Bookseller Alliance’s Novel of the Year. Judy lives with her husband in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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About the Author:

Judy Goldman is the author of two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back, and two books of poetry. Her work has been published in Real Simple magazine, and in many literary journals―including Kenyon Review, Southern Review, Ohio Review, Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner―as well as in numerous anthologies. Her commentaries have aired on public radio and she teaches at writers’ conferences throughout the country. She received the Fortner Writer and Community Award for "outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger community." She’s also the recipient of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, the Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction, the Gerald Cable Poetry Prize, the Roanoke-Chowan Prize for Poetry, the Oscar Arnold Young Prize for Poetry, and the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Prize for Poetry. The Slow Way Back was shortlisted for the Southeastern Independent Bookseller Alliance’s Novel of the Year. Judy lives with her husband in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Review:

"Goldman skillfully maneuvers her memoir into complex terrain, exploring what she calls 'the complicated alliance of love and will' between herself and [her sister] Brenda.... While the events themselves are heartrending, the memoir ultimately addresses the cathartic discovery that loss and losing can relax familial roles previously perceived as absolutes... VERDICT...recommended."
Library Journal, Rachael Dreyer, American Heritage Ctr., Laramie, WY, September 1, 2012<

"Poignant."
-Kirkus

"[Goldman] beautifully renders the complexity of sibling relationships with candidness, tenderness, and sorrow in her chronicle of the immense and troubled love she has for her older sister ... Goldman's book speaks to the human ability to forgive and attain a measure of peace amid loss."
Publishers Weekly (July 9, 2012)

"This book is poignant and heartbreaking but also inspirational. It made me hug my family a little bit closer."
Jenny Lawson, author of Let s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

"Judy Goldman s Losing My Sister is a big, wise, heart-squeezing book. It puts between hard covers what I d thought inarticulable an act not unlike giving flesh to a shadow. This book will help a lot of people people who are hurting for excellent prose, and people who are just hurting."
Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

"A moving, gracefully told story of memory, sisters, and the way that love can bridge tragedy."
Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author of Picture of You

"Judy Goldman navigates the bumpy, fierce love that she shares with her sister with equal parts passion and compassion. A memorable story of love and loss."
Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and the memoir Comfort: A Journey through Grief

"In this finely wrought and moving memoir, Goldman explores in exquisite detail the small and large acts of love between sisters and, indeed, among all family members. She is able to guide us through the complex emotions of death, loss, and intimacy because her own heart, as well as her writing, is as big and profound as the word love."
Sue William Silverman, author of Fearless Confessions: A Writer s Guide to Memoir

"What this book does brilliantly is suggest in the very rhythm of its telling the messiness and formlessness of relationships and grief, and the redemptive possibility of arranging some order from the chaos of existence. You cannot read this book and not be moved by its honesty and grace."
Michael Parker, author of The Watery Part of the World

"Judy Goldman deeply loved her sister. She tells us why, she tells us how, and she tells us how much loving hurts in this deeply affecting examination of a special sister bond broken many times before it is at last and forever restored."
Beth Kephart, author of Small Damages and National Book Award finalist A Slant of the Sun

"There is a great luminous beauty to her writing that delights me. Few writers in America have ever written with such passion and insight about the joys and great perils of family life." --Pat Conroy

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