Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What is Katrina Kenison reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir.

Part of her entry:
Having recently published a memoir of my own, I’m reading about other people’s lives these days with an even greater sense of urgency than usual. I’ve always been fascinated by the true stories of real people; now, I’m equally fascinated by the process by which a private life is experienced, edited, shaped, and offered up for public consumption. In order to finish writing my own book, I had to pretend that no one would ever actually read it. When it was finally published, the feeling was akin to running around in my pajamas--not totally naked, but weirdly exposed and vulnerable. So, I have even greater respect now for anyone willing to expose themselves to such judgment and scrutiny.

This week, I bought Andre Agassi’s autobiography, Open, for my 17-year-old son’s birthday, and got completely hooked myself. Ghosted by Pulitzer Prize-winner J.R. Moehringer (author of The Tender Bar), Agassi’s book grabs you on the first page -- “I play tennis for a living, even though I hate tennis, hate it with a dark and secret passion, and always have” -- and doesn’t let go. My husband and son are both tennis fanatics; I don’t even play the game and I never read sports books. Yet Agassi’s penchant for self-destruction, vying with his absolute perfectionism, makes for...[read on]
Katrina Kenison is the author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir, and Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry.

Among the praise for A Mother's Memoir:
"This eloquent book is subtitled “A Mother’s Memoir” but that’s not giving Kenison’s chronicle of her sons’ increasing independence its full due. It’s also about longing and fulfillment, taking stock of failures and achievements, a search for the elusive “something more” of one’s existence—and a reminder that life’s seemingly mundane moments are often where we find beauty, grace and transformation."
--Family Circle

"If you are lucky you'll read this lovely, wise book before your children go off to college. If you read it after they've flown the coop you will likely find much that is familiar in this warm, poignant, and gracious story."
-- Jane Hamilton, author of A Map of the World and Laura Rider's Masterpiece
From 1990 through 2006 Kenison was the annual editor of The Best American Short Stories series, and she co-edited, with John Updike, The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Her work has appeared in O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Real Simple, Family Circle, and many other publications.

Visit Katrina Kenison's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Katrina Kenison & Gracie.

Writers Read: Katrina Kenison.

--Marshal Zeringue