May 21, 2008 > The Middle Place
The Middle Place
Hayward Public Library welcomes best-selling Bay Area author May 31.
And I'm wonderin' what it is I should do
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face
Losin' control, yeah, I'm all over the place
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you
Excerpt from "Stuck in the Middle With You" originally recorded by Stealer's Wheel
Maturation in body and mind during teenage years - a daunting experience - has been well chronicled but author Kelly Corrigan explores a different and, in many ways, more challenging life transition. Motivated by a desire to "memorize my father" when he was diagnosed with cancer and given a poor chance of survival, she began to look at her life as a more sweeping transformation from childhood to adult responsibilities. She began to understand that early life experiences and their lessons can be easily lost. Words of a close friend came to mind as Corrigan was confronted with a personal sense of mortality. Following the death of her father, the friend was saddened to discover that "she had forgotten her father's voice."
Determined to avoid that fate, Corrigan began to chronicle the stories and anecdotes that would help keep her father, George "Greenie" Corrigan alive for her children. "I didn't set out to write a book" said Corrigan who has been writing in a personal journal since tenth grade. "It is my instinct to curl up with a notebook and pen and write things down." Kelly, herself a breast cancer patient, began to take stock of her personal journey from childhood to the role of adult, mother and wife. It is an exploration of "The Middle Place," which she defines as "the sliver of time when childhood and parenthood overlap" that is the fascinating subject of the book.
"I had a pile of entries of what it felt like to be in treatment for cancer and another pile of stories from childhood." Corrigan's sister-in-law suggested that she "shuffle them together and see what happens." Once the process began, it became clear that the real intent of the compilation was to discover "what it really means to be an adult." Corrigan noted that "you don't really grow up until you face mortality and lose someone you don't think you can live without." Her humorous approach to this intensely personal subject helps to ease readers through a complex, intimate and moving experience shared by all in one way or another.
Co-sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Hayward/Castro Valley, this event is open to everyone. Linda Slater, president of the local AAUW chapter noted, "The Middle Place" is a book I would recommend to everyone - it is inspirational in the most meaningful way." Hayward Public Library Director Lisa Rosenblum is excited to present such a powerful voice to the public. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce our community to this remarkable woman, who writes eloquently not only about her courageous battle with breast cancer, but also about her charismatic father and close-knit family."
Corrigan will speak about her experiences at a special event on Saturday, May 31 that is free and open to the public. In addition, her book will be on sale; she will be available to sign copies. The Hayward Library has multiple copies for check-out as well. This book will be the topic of discussion at the library's Autobiography Book Group in June. More information about this group is available at www.library.hayward-ca.gov.
For more information about Ms. Corrigan including excerpts of her book and speeches, visit www.kellycorrigan.com.
An afternoon with author Kelly Corrigan
Saturday, May 31
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
835 "C" Street, Hayward