My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers

My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers

by Kelly Cherry, Richard Ed. Cherry
     
 


This highly praised novel is a wry and caring tale of a woman struggling to overcome a difficult past and a barren present to establish a sense of self in the world.

Nina is a Virginia belle, now out shoveling Wisconsin snow. Divorced, childless, and middle-aged, she’s alone again, having been recently left by the man she loves. She has a cute,

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Overview


This highly praised novel is a wry and caring tale of a woman struggling to overcome a difficult past and a barren present to establish a sense of self in the world.

Nina is a Virginia belle, now out shoveling Wisconsin snow. Divorced, childless, and middle-aged, she’s alone again, having been recently left by the man she loves. She has a cute, cuddly dog for company, but what she really wants is a baby--a desire magnified by the insistent ticks of her biological clock--and the "right man" to father it. She consults the gurus of self-help for guidance. In so doing, she must confront an old ghost--that of family incest and the handsome, brilliant, ruined brother whose Svengalian pull has dominated her life.

When it was first published in 1990, My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers received glowing reviews for its freshness and mastery. Alison Lurie praised it as "a witty and moving account of what it’s like to be a woman in America today, when the promise to ‘Have It All’ has become a demand." The Washington Post stated, "so honest are the passion and pain . . . So complete the world created. . . . Histories are revealed with a well-timed line, ironies distilled to a moment." And the Los Angeles Times Book Review commented that rather than becoming a sad tale of the battle between the sexes, this book is "far too witty, too savvy, too lyrical and compassionate to resort to bitterness."

In My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers, Kelly Cherry writes with lightness and grace about some of life’s most serious subjects--the nature of family, aging parents, alcoholism, sexual violation. As her brave heroine journeys from self-blame to self-help, a beam of humor lights her way. How Nina finds her answers--and triumphs in a way she couldn’t possibly have predicted--makes this a fascinating story alive with joy and with sorrow.

Kelly Cherry is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin as well as a prominent southern poet and writer, author of In the Wink of an Eye and Natural Theology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Prose of outstanding lyrical strength . . . Idiosyncratic and fresh."
New York Times

"Deeply affecting. . . . Cherry’s book begins as light as Ephron’s Heartburn and makes a quantum leap along the way into a kind of prayer."
Kirkus

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cherry's ( Augusta Played ) ``novel in stories'' is such a mixture of the irritating and the insightful that its appeal will be a matter of individual taste. Narrator Nina, fearing the approach of middle age, struggles to heal the scars left by an incestuous assault and makes some real progress, at the same time remaining obsessed with the last man to dump her. In the first three stories especially, Nina's stability, suggested in the title, bogs down in psychobabble as she pursues, then rues, the offerings of psychiatry. The reader's patience is rewarded in the later sections, however, as Nina stops being the slave of theories and allows herself to experience relationships more naturally. Given the weak and tangled psyche to which we are originally introduced, Nina's ultimate transformation lacks a degree of credibility, but Cherry does achieve a unique portrait. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Nina, longing for a baby and for the Great Love who dumped her, shovels Wisconsin snow to the tick of her biological clock. In 12 short stories, she reviews her failures with various men, psychiatrists, and artificial insemination. Tucked away in the middle of the book is a beautiful little narrative about Nina's parents, too amusing and affectionate to be included in these tales of woe. Despite the happy, predictable ending, it's hard to predict any appreciative audience for Nina's self-centered chatter.-- Maurice Taylor, Brunswick Cty. Lib., Southport, N.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817312435
Publisher:
University of Alabama Press
Publication date:
07/28/2002
Series:
Deep South Books Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Kelly Cherry is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin as well as a prominent southern poet and writer, author of In the Wink of an Eye and Natural Theology.

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