Lorene Cary: Ladysitting: My Year With Nana at the End of Her Century
AN EVANSTON LITERARY FESTIVAL EVENT
When Lorene Cary's beloved grandmother came to live with Cary near the end of her life, they were both forced to reconcile the ideas they had of each other. Facing the inevitable end raised tensions, with Cary drawing on her spirituality and Nana consoling herself with late-night sweets and the loyalty of caregivers. In her beautifully written new memoirLadysitting, Cary gives us a profound meditation on end-of-life, multi-generational relationships, and on what gives us comfort in difficult times. Her story is part of the larger history of African Americans migrating from the South to the North, bringing living memories that span from surviving Jim Crow to the presidency of Barack Obama, and also a story about making sure that a black woman's death adds meaning to her life.
Lorene Cary was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1956. In 11th grade, she enrolled in the formerly all-white, all-male St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, a story she told in her first memoir Black Ice, which reviewers have called “brutally honest” and “stunning.” Her first novel, The Price of a Child, fictionalized the story of a female fugitive from slavery and was selected in 2003 as the inaugural One Book, One Philadelphia choice. The founder of Art Sanctuary and SafeKidsStories.com has twice received the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Creative Writing.