Vivian Pisano recently released Living in Two Worlds: A Memoir (Arc Light Books). This lyrically evocative memoir is a story of love, loss, and reflection. Vivian, born to an American mother and Chilean father, has an idyllic childhood in her father’s country. At the age of ten, Vivian’s world was disrupted as her sister’s illness takes the mother and children abruptly back to California, without Papá. From there displacement, grief, and resentments drive Vivian’s search for identity and belonging. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, at local independent bookstores, and libraries.
Q&A: Novelist Glen David Gold Discusses the Challenges of Memoir
The latest issue of CALIFORNIA contains a chapter-length excerpt from I Will Be Complete, the new memoir by acclaimed novelist and UC Berkeley alum Glen David Gold (Carter Beats the Devil, Sunnyside). The book begins with this epigraphic note on its accuracy: “My mother assures me none of this happened.” Gold’s relationship with said mother […]
Linguist Deborah Tannen Explores Her Father’s Unlived Lives & Loves in New Memoir
When her parents were in their 80s, sociolinguist Deborah Tannen took them to a therapist because, she says, “they seemed not to be enjoying each other.” One problem was that her father, Eli Tannen, loved reminiscing about his childhood as part of a large extended family in the Hasidic Jewish community of Warsaw, Poland. By […]
Descended from Slaves and a US President: One Family’s Story
Throughout her childhood in Oakland, California, Bettye Kearse was told that she was descended from President James Madison and his slave, Coreen. “Always remember,” her family told her, “you’re a Madison. You come from African slaves and a president.” In 1990, when Kearse, a pediatrician and graduate of UC Berkeley, became the family griotte—or storyteller, […]