Circling My Mother: A Memoir by Mary Gordon Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

Circling My Mother: A Memoir

In this triumphant return to nonfiction after two critically acclaimed works of fiction, Mary Gordon gives us a rich, bittersweet memoir about her mother, their relationship and her role as daughter.

Anna Gagliano Gordon, who died in 2002 at the age of 94, lived a life colored by large forces: immigration, world war, the Great Depression, and physical affliction–she contra

Anna Gagliano Gordon, who died in 2002 at the age of 94, lived a life colored by large forces: immigration, world war, the Great Depression, and physical affliction–she contracted Polio at the age of 3 and experienced the ravages of both alcoholism and dementia. A hard-working single mother–Gordon’s father died when she was still a girl–Anna was the personification of the culture of the mid-century American Catholic working class. Yet, even in the face of these setbacks, she managed to hold down a job, to dress smartly and to raise her daughter on her own, and though she was never a fan of the arts which so attracted Mary, she worshiped the beauty in life in her own way, with a surprising joie de vivre and a beautiful singing voice.

Gordon writes about Anna in all of her roles: sister, breadwinner, woman of faith and single mother. We discover Anna’s wry and often biting humor, her appreciation of life’s simple pleasures, her courage in breaking out of the narrow confines of her birth. Toward the end of Anna’s life, we watch the author take on all the burdens and blessings of caring for her mother in old age, beginning even then to reclaim from memory the vivid woman who helped her sail forth into her own life.

Bringing her exceptional talent for detail, character, and scene to bear on the life of her mother, Gordon gives us a deeply felt and powerfully moving book.
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    Suzy

    Nov 27, 2010

    rated it
    it was ok

    This is the second book I’ve read by Mary Gordon. I have an ambivalent attitude toward her as a writer. She writes well, but I think I don’t like her as a person. (It would be interesting to see what I thought if I met her.) Mary Gordon’s book about her mom is a lot about her herself, really. And she seems to harbor a lot of grudges and ill-will toward people in her family. Her self-pride–particularly about her childhood precocity–also seeps through a lot in an annoying way. I did the book int

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