While many people now know Quindlen best through her beloved novels, she first made her mark as an essayist, first at The New York Times, and then for Newsweek. She last wrote about parenting in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, and now that she’s a grandparent, she’s back with astute observations of how her life has changed with the arrival of Arthur. She notes that while there are all different ways to be a nana – to Quindlen, the job is to make the not the cake or the frosting, but the sugar flowers at the corners. Always think, did they ask you? Quindlen alternates personal stories with essays that step back and look at grandparenting in general. The results are a wise and warm collection to be savored, no matter the makeup of your family.— Daniel Goldin
A bighearted book of wisdom, wit, and insight, celebrating the love and joy of being a grandmother, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and #1 New York Times bestselling author
“I am changing his diaper, he is kicking and complaining, his exhausted father has gone to the kitchen for a glass of water, his exhausted mother is prone on the couch. He weighs little more than a large sack of flour and yet he has laid waste to the living room: swaddles on the chair, a nursing pillow on the sofa, a car seat, a stroller. No one cares about order, he is our order, we revolve around him. And as I try to get in the creases of his thighs with a wipe, I look at his, let’s be honest, largely formless face and unfocused eyes and fall in love with him. Look at him and think, well, that’s taken care of, I will do anything for you as long as we both shall live, world without end, amen.”
Before blogs even existed, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full nana in the pages of this lively, beautiful, and moving book about being a grandmother. Quindlen offers thoughtful and telling observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. She writes, “Where I once led, I have to learn to follow.” Eventually a close friend provides words to live by: “Did they ask you?”
Candid, funny, frank, and illuminating, Quindlen’s singular voice has never been sharper or warmer. With the same insights she brought to motherhood in Living Out Loud and to growing older in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, this new nana uses her own experiences to illuminate those of many others.
About the Author
Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of nine novels: Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue, Blessings, Rise and Shine, Every Last One, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Miller’s Valley, and Alternate Side. Her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, published in 2012, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at The New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections, Living Out Loud and Thinking Out Loud. Her Newsweek columns were collected in Loud and Clear.
Praise for Anna Quindlen
“[Quindlen] serves up generous portions of her wise, commonsensical, irresistibly quotable take on life. . . . What Nora Ephron does for body image and Anne Lamott for spiritual neuroses, Quindlen achieves on the home front.”—NPR, about Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
“A panopticon of life in this decade, sure to be valuable to future social historians. She touches on life, love, home, family, work, men, women, children and issues large and small.”—Chicago Tribune, about Living Out Loud
“A splendid collection . . . eloquent, powerful, compassionate and droll . . . There is considerable variety in the subjects she addresses.”—The Plain Dealer, about Thinking Out Loud