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Lorene Cary


W.W. Norton

Ladysitting is boldly literate and a brilliant work of art. Its astute references flow from grand opera to the vernacular shrewdness of African-American signifying. Cary’s impeccable prose and astutely parsed narrative mark a paradigm shift in American memoir. Rather than a remake of the singular African-American declaration of literacy ‘I was born,’ Cary teaches us what we have achieved through the extended plurality of ‘we.’ She teaches us through riveting prose, brave self-critique, and stunning observational powers of what poet Robert Hayden called ‘love’s austere and lonely offices.’ Ladysitting is a lyrical odyssey of the multiply-descended and cross-generational heritage of black diaspora in a strange land. Nana is the shrewd, eldercare captain of the voyage.” — Houston Baker
“As Bette Davis is known for saying, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Lorene Cary’s Nana is no sissy. Cary’s chronicle of this centenarian (+1) is written with candor, warmth, and love. The final chapters are critical reading for anyone with an aging loved one at the end of their life.” — Betsy Lerner, author of The Bridge Ladies