Tasha: A Son's Memoir (Hardcover)

Tasha: A Son's Memoir By Brian Morton Cover Image
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Description


In the spirit of Fierce Attachments and The End of Your Life Book Club, acclaimed novelist Brian Morton delivers a “superb” (Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air), darkly funny memoir of his mother’s vibrant life and the many ways in which their tight, tumultuous relationship was refashioned in her twilight years.

Tasha Morton is a force of nature: a brilliant educator who’s left her mark on generations of students—and also a whirlwind of a mother, intrusive, chaotic, oppressively devoted, and irrepressible.

For decades, her son Brian has kept her at a self-protective distance, but when her health begins to fail, he knows it’s time to assume responsibility for her care. Even so, he’s not prepared for what awaits him, as her refusal to accept her own fragility leads to a series of epic outbursts and altercations that are sometimes frightening, sometimes wildly comic, and sometimes both.

Clear-eyed, “deeply stirring” (Dani Shapiro, The New York Times Book Review), and brimming with dark humor, Tasha is both a vivid account of an unforgettable woman and a stark look at the impossible task of caring for an elderly parent in a country whose unofficial motto is “you’re on your own.”

About the Author


Brian Morton is the author of five novels, including Starting Out in the Evening and Florence Gordon. He has been a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Koret Jewish Book Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Pushcart Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award and the Kirkus Prize. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York. 

Praise For…


“I found Tasha addictive. I couldn’t even slow down. Why? Its startling details, fearless depictions and the curiosity this sparks: How might Morton “solve” the unsolvable?”… Tasha stands as both a cri de coeur and vibrant testament — the painstaking, brave, generous piecing-together of a wildly difficult puzzle.” —Joan Frank, The Washington Post

“Superb… one thing that sets Tasha far apart from the usual one-sided literary conversation with a deceased parent is Morton's rigorous attempt to see his mother, Tasha, whole — as a person. Another thing that distinguishes Tasha is Morton's elastic style as a writer, by turns droll, emotionally wrenching, and profound. … [A] powerful memoir… Tasha is such a pleasure to read, oscillating between past and present, horror and hilarity, the big social picture and one son's ongoing attempt to work out some stuff with his mother.” —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

“Brian Morton, a gifted, compassionate novelist, has, over the course of five elegant novels, explored the moral complexity inherent in storytelling. … With humility and grace, he tells us that he has failed his mother by not seeing her as a full and complete person, one with great courage, complexity and strength. But it is a gift of mature adulthood — and perhaps the work of writing memoir — to see our parents as people who exist outside of their centrality in our lives… [a] lucid memoir.” —Dani Shapiro, The New York Times

“Morton’s affecting, funny tribute captures the complexities of the mother-son bond, the crazy-making choices of caretaking and the mixed blessings of small-town life.”—People

"One of the truest, most insightful mother-child memoirs I have ever read.” Vivian Gornick, author of Fierce Attachments

"Brian Morton is a tremendous writer’s writer… Tasha is in many ways a tribute to a complicated woman, but also an examination of the dearth of options for ailing, aging people—regardless of cost.” The Observer

"This profoundly moving memoir is both an absolute delight and a punch to the gut: Brian Morton writes without flinching about his often exasperating mother, his own considerable failings, and the impossible demands of balancing safety and independence, love and anger, guilt and grief. I urge you to read this astonishing work: part family comedy, part prayer for the dead, and wholly unforgettable —like Tasha herself." —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“A searing and tender memoir, written with candor, warmth, and heartbreaking grace.” —Betsy Lerner, author of The Bridge Ladies 

"Yes, Tasha is an indelibly memorable character, but what makes the book really soar is the combination of her plus the author's truthful self-portrait: the two are locked in a pas de deux, for better or worse, that epitomizes the impossible-to-satisfy love of mother and child." —Phillip Lopate

"Unstinting yet tender… a tour de force... Part gut-punch comedy, part eulogy, this tribute is dazzling”  Publishers Weekly *starred review* 
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982178932
ISBN-10: 1982178930
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 12th, 2022
Pages: 208
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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