Glitter and Glue: A Memoir (Paperback)
I loved this charming account of Kelly Corrigan's post-college stint as a nanny in Australia. As she struggled to care for her spirited young charges, she was surprised to find herself channeling the voice of her own opinionated mother. Her candid musings on the sometimes complicated relationships between mothers and daughters are a delight to read.— Gillian
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A memoir from the author of The Middle Place about mothers and daughters—a bond that can be nourishing, exasperating, and occasionally divine.
When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” This meant nothing to Kelly, who left childhood sure that her mom—with her inviolable commandments and proud stoicism—would be nothing more than background chatter for the rest of Kelly’s life, which she was carefully orienting toward adventure. After college, armed with a backpack, her personal mission statement, and a wad of traveler’s checks, she took off for Australia to see things and do things and Become Interesting.
But it didn’t turn out the way she pictured it. In a matter of months, her savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. That’s how Kelly met John Tanner, a newly widowed father of two looking for a live-in nanny. They chatted for an hour, discussed timing and pay, and a week later, Kelly moved in. And there, in that house in a suburb north of Sydney, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, her mother’s voice was suddenly everywhere, nudging and advising, cautioning and directing, escorting her through a terrain as foreign as any she had ever trekked. Every day she spent with the Tanner kids was a day spent reconsidering her relationship with her mother, turning it over in her hands like a shell, straining to hear whatever messages might be trapped in its spiral.
This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.
Praise for Glitter and Glue
“I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Kelly Corrigan’s thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn’t that why we read?”—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water
“Kelly Corrigan is no stranger to mining the depths of her heart. . . . Through her own experience of caring for children, she begins, for the first time, to appreciate the complex woman who raised her.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
About the Author
Kelly Corrigan is the author of The Middle Place and Lift, both New York Times bestsellers. She is also a contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Medium. Kelly co-founded Notes & Words, an annual benefit concert for Children’s Hospital Oakland featuring writers and musicians onstage together. Her YouTube channel, which includes video essays like “Transcending” and interviews with writers like Michael Lewis and Anna Quindlen, has been viewed by millions. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Edward Lichty, their two daughters, and a poorly behaved chocolate Lab, Hershey.
“Kelly Corrigan’s heartfelt homage to motherhood is every bit as tough and funny as it is nostalgic and searching. It’s a tale about growing up, gaining wisdom, and reconciling with Mom (something we all must do eventually), but it’s also an honest meditation on our deepest fears of death and abandonment. I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Glitter and Glue explores how and why, in our exuberant and impatient youth, we launch ourselves into the world at large—and how and why we eventually circle back to home port, where, waiting for us, is the parent with whom we’ve had the more complicated relationship. Kelly Corrigan’s thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn’t that why we read?”—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author ofWe Are Water
“Kelly Corrigan is no stranger to mining the depths of her heart. . . . [In] Glitter and Glue,Corrigan turns the microscope on her relationship with her own mother. . . . Through her own experience of caring for children, she begins, for the first time, to appreciate the complex woman who raised her.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Corrigan [is] a lively, nimble cheerleader for the joys of family.”—People
“[A] funny, sparkling memoir.”—More
“Corrigan writes with warmth and delicate humor.”—The Washington Post
“[An] irresistible cocktail of lyrical writing and solid, useful insight.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan’s memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children—as well as everything else that really matters.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
“Kelly Corrigan parses the bittersweet complexities of motherhood with humor and grace. Her writing has depth and buoyancy and light. It’s a river on a summer day. You slip into the current, laughing, and are carried away by it. Glitter and Glue is a perfect gift for anyone with a mother.”—Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff and Spook
“In Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan gives us a lovely and insightful lesson in what it means to be both a mother and a daughter. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and I know that you will gobble it up in a single day, just like I did.”—Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother
“I teared up so many times while reading Glitter and Glue, thinking, ‘See? You never stop needing your mother.’ Yet with openhearted wisdom, Kelly Corrigan beautifully illustrates the idea that life goes on no matter what—and that even the impossible is always possible.”—Vanessa Diffenbaugh, New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers
“Some books you quite like, some you even love, but especially rare are the books that remind you what reading is for. Glitter and Glue is my favorite reminder. Nobody tells a more natural story—with more easy charm, with such personal warmth and style—than Kelly Corrigan. In Glitter and Glue she’s your dream tour guide, making you laugh as she points out the biggies—love and death, mothers and daughters, sickness and health. Buying this book feels like investing in a lifelong friend.”—Darin Strauss, award-winning author of Half a Life