INCLUDING AN EXCLUSIVE CONVERSATION BETWEEN MERYL STREEP AND ANNA QUINDLEN - "[Quindlen] serves up generous portions of her wise, commonsensical, irresistibly quotable take on life. . . . What Nora Ephron does for body image and Anne Lamott for spiritual neuroses, Quindlen achieves on the home front."-NPR In this irresistible memoir, Anna Quindlen writes about a woman's life, from childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, using the events of her life to illuminate ours. Considering-and celebrating-everything from marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, parenting, faith, loss, to all the stuff in our closets, and more, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen uses her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages. Quindlen talks about Marriage: "A safety net of small white lies can be the bedrock of a successful marriage. You wouldn't believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation." Girlfriends: "Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends." Our bodies: "I've finally recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come." Parenting: "Being a parent is not transactional. We do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay-it-forward endeavor: We are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us." Candid, funny, and moving, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen's status as America's laureate of real life. "Classic Quindlen, at times witty, at times wise, and always of her time."-The Miami Herald "[A] pithy, get-real memoir."-Booklist Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.
Suddenly sixty, Quindlen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and best-selling novelist (Every Last One, 2010), finds herself looking back on her life. She's not so much wondering how she got where she is but, rather, considering how the choices she made and the chances she took along the way have prepared her for the road ahead. What even to call this next stage in a woman's life? Not elderly, certainly, yet definitely no longer young, this middle-aged morass can be hard to navigate. Friendships fade, fashions flummox, the body wimps out, and the mind has a mind of its own. One can either fight it or face it. In her own unmistakably reasonable way, Quindlen manages to do both, with grace and agility, wisdom and wit, sending out comforting affirmations while ardently confronting preconceived stereotypes and societal demands. Having endeared herself to generations of women, beginning with her eminently distinctive and intuitively perceptive Life in the 30s column, Quindlen now brings her considered and accepted voice of reflection and evaluation to the challenges and opportunities that await. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: After writing a string of immensely popular novels, trusted, high-profile Quindlen will delight her steadfast readers with this pithy, get-real memoir slated for an energetic, all-fronts promotion campaign.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review
Weary, battle-hardened reflections on growing older infuse this latest collection of essays by novelist and former New York Times columnist Quindlen (Every Last One). Having chimed in copiously in previous memoirs on now familiar talking points such as raising children, finding life's balance as a working mother, achieving marital harmony and doling out feminist lessons to three grown children, Quindlen has found one nut to polish in a gratifying sense of survival on her own terms. Now in her late 50s, having lived much longer than her mother, who died when Quindlen was 19, the author finds herself shocked to hear herself referred to as elderly, and no longer troubled by the realization that her sense of control over events is illusory. In essays such as "Generations" and "Expectations," she is careful to pay homage to the women like her mother who grew up before the women's movement and thus had fewer choices. Yet Quindlen sees much work still to be done, especially in breaking glass ceilings and in assumptions about women's looks-including her own. Cocooned in her comfortable lifestyle between a New York City apartment and her country house, surrounded by accumulated "stuff" that is beginning to feel stifling, certain of her marriage-until-death and support of her BFFs, Quindlen holds for the most part a blithe, benign view of growing older. Yet in moments when she dares to peer deeper, such as at her Catholic faith or within the chasm of solitude left by children having left home, she bats away her platitudinous reassurances and approaches a near-searing honesty. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Library Journal Review
Continuing in the tradition of the New York Times column that won her a Pulitzer Prize, Quindlen offers her baby boomer feminist's perspective on domestic life, motherhood, women's relationships, religious faith, the challenges of aging gracefully in our culture, and more. Quindlen is an insightful, engaging writer, and this is sure to please her many fans. VERDICT The author's narration serves the highly personal subject matter well, giving the illusion of eavesdropping on a wise friend's observations on life. ["Before she published six best-selling novels and wrote her million-copy best seller, A Short Guide to the Happy Life, Quindlen attracted eager readers with her Times column 'Life in the 30s.' Now she's in her fifties and ready to talk about women's lives as a whole," read the review of the Random hc, LJ 5/15/12.-Ed.]-Julie Judkins, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Author Anna Quindlen was born in Philadelphia on July 8, 1953. She graduated from Barnard in 1974 and serves on their Board of Trustees.
Quindlen worked as a reporter for the New York Post and the New York Times and wrote columns for the Times. She won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary before devoting herself to writing fiction.
She has written both adult fiction (including Object Lessons, Black and Blue and One True Thing, which was made into a motion picture starring Meryl Streep) and children's fiction (Happily Ever After and The Tree That Came to Stay).
Currently, she is a columnist at Newsweek. Her title Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake made The New York Times Best Seller list for 2012. (Bowker Author Biography)