Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery

Overview

“In the spring of 1995, the condition I seem to have been waiting for all my life finally struck me.” So begins Jane Lazarre’s account of her transforming battle with breast cancer. Following in the tradition of her critically acclaimed literary memoirs The Mother Knot and Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons, Lazarre brilliantly interweaves her experience of life-threatening illness with other stories of recent and past losses—most notably, that of her mother to breast cancer...

See more details below
Paperback
$18.19
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$19.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $3.27   
  • New (4) from $14.55   
  • Used (10) from $3.27   
Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$19.95 List Price

Overview

“In the spring of 1995, the condition I seem to have been waiting for all my life finally struck me.” So begins Jane Lazarre’s account of her transforming battle with breast cancer. Following in the tradition of her critically acclaimed literary memoirs The Mother Knot and Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons, Lazarre brilliantly interweaves her experience of life-threatening illness with other stories of recent and past losses—most notably, that of her mother to breast cancer when Jane was a small child. From these memories and experiences, Lazarre crafts a story that is at once intensely intimate and universally healing.

As she contends with the pain and many indignities of her treatment for cancer, Lazarre realizes that successful medical treatment will only be part of her healing process. Her own illness becomes the vehicle for coming to terms with key moments of loss and grief—the death of a beloved therapist from breast cancer, her brother-in-law’s death from AIDS, a traumatic disappointment in her work life, and the unresolved pain of being a motherless child. The gift of Lazarre’s writing is her ability to transform her narratives of grief and loss into a story whose power to heal lies in its ability to penetrate the unconscious and give voice to the elusive truths hidden there. Through her writing, Lazarre is able to embrace grief—even her own inarticulate grief as a child—and find her way through the story to a restored sense of wholeness.

In Wet Earth and Dreams Jane Lazarre once again proves herself to be both companion and guide through some of the most difficult challenges life has to offer. As always, she draws strength not only from sustaining friendship and love, but also from her own faith in the power of storytelling to make bearable the seemingly unbearable. Lazarre’s bravely and beautifully written account of grief, illness, and death is at the last a celebration of the redemptive possibilities of the creative spirit.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Wet Earth and Dreams is more than a cancer journal . . . . Vulnerable and extremely private, Lazarre has entrusted her story to us. [This] is a moving book, crafted with exquisite care. I feel privileged to have read Lazarre’s words.” - Kathleen Woodward, The Women’s Review of Books

Wet Earth and Dreams is a beautiful, engrossing, enormously moving book. It stirred me to the depths.”—Judith Rossner

“A book that cuts close to the bone, its strength derives from the purity of its engagement with the intensities of emotional life. . . . Lazarre’s severe honesty is served by a perfected literary style of classical clarity and restraint. This is her best and most powerful work. . . . ”—Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body and The Art of the Personal Essay

“A compelling read of one high risk woman’s anticipation, realization, and emergence.”—Deborah Axelrod, M.D., Beth Israel Medical Center

“Bravely intimate . . . Jane Lazarre’s voice sustains me through the terror of my own most grievous losses. . . . Her spiraling narrative, poetic or musical in its resonance, shows how grief that seemed a wall can become a door. Memory, that had seemed the enemy, becomes a source of plenitude and a companion in resurgence.”—Jan Clausen, coeditor of Beyond Gay or Straight

“Jane Lazarre has always been one of our bravest writers. She once again makes an art of raw, fierce honesty, as she moves through encounters with pain, loss, illness, and death. Inspired by the urgent desire to know and be known, she has created an intensely gripping and profoundly moving work.”—Jessica Benjamin, author of The Bonds of Love and Shadow of the Other

“She has it right! Perhaps even workers in the field will learn something about how patients feel. Thank you Jane Lazarre from all of us.”—Lucille Clifton, author of The Terrible Stories

Kathleen Woodward
Wet Earth and Dreams is more than a cancer journal . . . . Vulnerable and extremely private, Lazarre has entrusted her story to us. [This] is a moving book, crafted with exquisite care. I feel privileged to have read Lazarre’s words.”
Kathleen Woodward
Wet Earth and Dreams is a moving book, crafted with exquisite care. I feel priviledged to have read Lazarre's words. -- Women's Review of Books
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Reading Lazarre's (Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons) latest is like spending time with a friend, albeit an intense and occasionally neurotic one who can lapse into trendy psychobabble ("I must recover this desire so its hopelessness can be separated from all other desires, its horrible futility leaving me with shame or with dread or with nothing or with rage"). What Lazarre desires is her mother, who died of breast cancer when Lazarre was seven. That experience shaped Lazarre's life and this engrossing memoir. Grief and recovery figure heavily in the narrative, in which she copes with her own breast cancer and, in the process, comes to terms with her mother's death and the silence in which her family shrouded it. But this is no exercise in self-pity and self-absorption, nor is it a one-dimensional look at illness. Lazarre does offer vivid and often frightening glimpses into treatment, such as the nurse who yells, "Do you want to compromise your longevity?!" when questioned about overlapping radiation with chemotherapy, and the radiation attendant who tells Lazarre, "with a stunning, callous smile," that the black cross inked on her chest is there for the medical staff's convenience. But mostly this is Lazarre's effort to come to grips with who she is and how she became that way. It's a story bound to move anyone who has ever experienced love or loss. (Sept.)
Library Journal
For Lazarre, a diagnosis of breast cancer brought a frightening reminder of her mother's death at 38 of the same disease. Here she tells of her experience with cancer and the treatment she underwent, all of which topped off other painful losses: her brother-in-law's death of AIDS, her trusted psychotherapist's death from breast cancer, and a publisher's rejection of a manuscript she had worked on for years. Lazarre, the author of numerous novels and memoirs, including The Mother Knot (Duke Univ., 1997), finds a respite in words, in trying to fashion them so that they articulate the emotions she feels. Her stream-of-consciousness narrative rescues the book from being just another story of illness. Although she deals with disease and sadness, she achieves the overall effect of healing, coming to terms with past losses and reclaiming wholeness. This book will appeal to women, especially those who have had experience with cancer.--Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
Mamm
Throughout the memoir, Lazarre returns to the most weighty issues of her adult life: psychic and physical separation from her mother; her intense, anxious attachment to her two sons; and her struggle to write. On each return, she learns more about the causes of her overwhelming fears, and eventually makes discoveries that free her of the leveling depression that had afflicted her before her diagnosis. . . . Wet Earth and Dreams' most memorable quality [is] Lazarre's refusal to accept stoicism as the ideal emotion for cancer patients. She dares to define a patient's bravery as the willingness to examine fear without banishing it.
SHARE
This book is written with tremendous sensitivity. . . . [T]he author was very brave in writing it. . . . You get the feeling she has kept nothing back from the reader. (Self-help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822325437
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Lazarre is on the Faculty of Eugene Lang College at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness and The Mother Knot, both published by Duke University Press.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)