The Center of the Universe: A Memoir

Nancy Bachrach

Published by Knopf, 2009
ISBN 10: 0307270904 / ISBN 13: 9780307270900
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Synopsis: Nancy Bachrach is living in Paris, selling deodorant to the French, when a freak accident kills her father aboard his cabin cruiser, the aptly dubbed Mr. Fix It, in her incongruously named hometown of Providence. Her mother, Lola, the self-proclaimed “center of the universe,” whose medical history reads like the chapter headings of a psychiatric manual, lies in a coma “on death’s waiting list.” Nancy rushes home and sits by her mother’s ventilator—thinking about Sunny von Bülow and eyeing the plug. Thus begins a family reunion with her brother, Ben (a piano prodigy and eventual surgeon who was born with three thumbs), and sister, Helen (the wild child, now an “abnormal psychologist”).

This is a dark, hilarious tale of genius, madness, ineptitude, collateral damage, and hope—with an ending that’s improbable, as only the truth can be. Aching and tender, unflinching and wry, The Center of the Universe is a multi generational mother-daughter story—a splendid, funny, lyrical book about family, truth, memory, and the resilience of love.

About the Author: Nancy Bachrach worked in advertising in New York and Paris, spinning hot air like cotton candy, glorifying her clients’ beloved denture adhesives and powdered orange-juice substitutes. Before that, she was, sequentially, a clumsy waitress at Howard Johnson’s, an overzealous customer service rep fired for making genuine apologies, a stenographer for an insomniac poet, and a teaching assistant in the philosophy department at Brandeis University, where she was one chapter ahead of her class. She lives in New York City. This is her first book.

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Title: The Center of the Universe: A Memoir
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 2009
Book Condition: New

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