The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormonesby Sandra Tsing Loh
From an “imaginatively twisted and fearless” writer (Los Angeles Times), a hilarious memoir of middle age.In a voice that is wry, disarming, and totally candid, Sandra Tsing Loh tells the moving and laugh-out-loud tale of her roller coaster through "the change." This is not your grandmother's menopause story. Loh chronicles utterly relatable, everyday
From an “imaginatively twisted and fearless” writer (Los Angeles Times), a hilarious memoir of middle age.In a voice that is wry, disarming, and totally candid, Sandra Tsing Loh tells the moving and laugh-out-loud tale of her roller coaster through "the change." This is not your grandmother's menopause story. Loh chronicles utterly relatable, everyday perils: raising preteen daughters, weathering hormonal changes, and the ups and downs of a career and a relationship. She writes also about an affair and the explosion of her marriage, while managing the legal and marital hijinks of her eighty-nine-year-old dad. The upbeat conclusion: it does get better.
Southern California author Loh has amply demonstrated her stand-up comic skills in her syndicated radio show and previous autobiographical works (Mother on Fire) and here faces down her life at sudden impasse in her late 40s. Having left her longtime husband and father of her two preteen girls, Mr. X, as she calls him, two years before, she took up with Mr. Y, a theater colleague and friend of 10 years whom she regarded as the Ethel to her Lucy, “the sunny island my shipwreck had landed on.” After a reckless affair that she compares to a prison break (“We dug ourselves out of our cells with spoons, and we ran for it”), the two left their spouses and cohabited. Tsing Loh, half-Chinese, half-German, recognized that her abrupt fits of weeping, “gothic moods,” worry, and manic energy were no doubt the first symptoms of menopause. Resorting to cursory research and plenty of secondhand advice from sister “frumpy Generation Xers,” who were busy mothers and caregivers to elders, Tsing Loh’s remedies involve everything from hormone replacement therapy to plant-based forms of estrogen, and “happiness projects” to counteract the force of “gloomlets” like puppies and the color yellow. From her own histrionic blowout with her new partner that requires therapy, Tsing Loh learned that women going through menopause need compassion and hydration, above all, and the encouragement to see the potential for wisdom when the cloud of hormones lifts. (May)
A writer and syndicated radio host's no-holds-barred account of how she survived the rigors of midlife crisis and menopause. When Atlantic contributing editor Loh (Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting!, 2008, etc.) reached her late 40s, the stability and rationality that had characterized her world suddenly vanished. Feeling vaguely trapped by a staid marriage, she made a "prison break" with an equally bored married man into what she thought was the freedom of an affair. The result was a messy divorce and an even messier period of regrouping. But Loh's malaise persisted and began to manifest as physical symptoms—including bloating, weight gain and rapidly shifting moods—she could neither explain nor completely control. With candor and attitude to spare, the author chronicles how she navigated the unexpected transformations that occur in all midlife women. Determined to find a way to endure "the change" with her sanity intact, she explored everything from best-selling books about finding happiness to hip new exercise trends like Kettlebelling. But sometimes even her best efforts were not enough. As she tried to cope with her unsettling physical and emotional changes, she also had to deal with other volatile situations. One was her two daughters' transitions into adolescence and immersion into "the peculiar horrors of Facebook." The other was her eccentric octogenarian father's decision to marry a younger woman he thought would take care of him but who would eventually be diagnosed with a severe case of dementia. Loh observes that late baby boomer/early Gen-X women like Madonna, Oprah and Demi Moore have helped remove the stigma associated with "the change" and shown that menopause can be a time of female empowerment rather than hysterical helplessness. Humbled and changed from the inside out, Loh still celebrates menopause as a brand of wisdom revealing "this chore wheel called modern life" for the sham it is. A funny, frank and hopeful memoir of middle age.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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- 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Meet the Author
Writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh is a contributing editor to The Atlantic, host of the syndicated radio show The Loh Down on Science, and the author of five previous books. She lives in Pasadena, California.
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I saw the author on Bill Maher and so much of what she said resonated for me. So I read her sample on my Nook and it made me laugh. Now I really need to laugh because I don't know if I am menopausal, post menopauspal, or just murderpausal. I was hoping to find some humor and possibly some wisdom for a life's experience that I have no compass. There is no village for me to go to a crone and ask her what to expect or how to weather this storm. My husband has been telling me for months that I am one angry woman and I have changed. I wanted to try and get a little of the old me back through humor. Well, I learned some things and laughed a little but I was disappointed. 25% of the book was humorous, 25% of the book was research and references and the rest seemed to be the author's attempt to explain choices more than her experiences with menopause. I don't care how menopausal I am, if I find a person that I think is dead, I am calling 911 not my sister. Now her sister, however, is a different story. I wish she would write a book because she really seems to have it all together. So in closing, if you are just starting perimenopause this would be a good book to read to give you a clue as to what to expect and she will give you good references for more medical knowledge. However, if you are in the throes of hot flashes and pitching dishes at people......not so much.
This book made me laugh out loud.I also shed a few tears. Made me realize I'm not crazy and alone.
Glad I finished menopause years ago. Laughed all the way through this great description of life change