by Joan Cusack Handler
“In her verse memoir Orphans, Joan Cusack Handler tackles the big subjects – family history, aging parents, Irish Catholicism, belief and unbelief, and her own impending mortality – with a fierce, wrenching fearlessness. She creates portraits of her mother and father that are fully rounded, alive, and moving, the central question for the poet not “Who am I?” but “Who were they?” “Our terrors take over pilot us through/this most shaking of times…,” writes Handler with force and grace, recognizing that the bright and the dark, love and the absence of love, must always coexist with each other. Orphans is a brave, searchingly honest, and compassionate book.”
About the book:
In Orphans, a verse memoir, poet psychologist Joan Cusack Handler explores our most primitive and ambivalent relationships – those with aging parents – meanwhile confronting her own mortality. In a life lesson we’re often unprepared for, Handler presents the reversal of roles and the eruption of unresolved conflicts that persist from childhood.
About the Writer
Joan Cusack Handler is a poet and memoirist, editor, and psychologist in clinical practice. She has published 3 books—2 poetry collections (GlOrious and The Red Canoe: Love In Its Making) and a memoir (Confessions of Joan the Tall). Recipient of 5 Pushcart nominations and a Sampler Award from The Boston Review, she is the Founder of CavanKerry Press Ltd. A Bronx native, she currently lives in Fort Lee, NJ and East Hampton, NY.