THE ART OF THE “ON BECOMING A CAREGIVER TO AN UNPLEASANT PARENT
4:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Campus Center West Boardroom
University at Albany
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222
Free and open to the public.
Lynne Tillman, award-winning author and UAlbany English Professor/Writer-in-Residence, presents her new book, Mothercare: On Obligation, Love, Death, and Ambivalence (2022), an unflinching account of the painful experience of becoming caregiver to a very difficult parent. The Boston Globe said, “Masterfully-wrought . . . [A] stunning story of caregiving, with its questions of obligation and ethics and what it means to care for someone who, perhaps, didn’t care for you.”
Lynne Tillman visited the NYS Writers Institute in 2011. More recently, she hosted our conversation with acclaimed Irish writer Colm Tóibín in March 2022.
Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. Her novels are Haunted Houses; Motion Sickness; Cast in Doubt; No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; American Genius, A Comedy, and Men and Apparitions. Her nonfiction books include The Velvet Years: Warhol’s Factory 1965–1967, with photographs by Stephen Shore; Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co.; and What Would Lynne Tillman Do?, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.
Cosponsored by the UAlbany School of Social Welfare in association with the Internships in Aging Project, and the English Department’s Creative Writing Program and Young Writers Program.
About the book
"Masterfully-wrought . . . [A] stunning story of caregiving, with its questions of obligation and ethics and what it means to care for someone who, perhaps, didn’t care for you."
"What spurred Lynne Tillman to write Mothercare, her first work of memoir, is in many ways a mystery. In a long and prolific career of writing fiction, criticism, and essays, she has avoided personal writing and does not seem to feel liberated by it now. 'I have strong reservations about doing it,' she writes, 'and now I am doing it.'” Read more.
"[Tillman] says she didn’t love her mother, even if she sometimes tried to imagine she did, clinging to an illusion in order to cope. She quotes an email to a doctor in which she refers to 'Mom,' but in this book her mother is invariably 'Mother'; the formality suits the woman of Tillman’s memories — matter-of-fact, competent, orderly. 'I had respect for her smarts or canniness and practicality,' Tillman writes, in an attempt to give her mother her due. 'From the age of 6, I had disliked my mother, but I didn’t wish her dead.'" Read more.