Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Opposite of Lift

I went treasure hunting at Borders bookstore. The one by my office is going out of business, and anything left is 70 to 90 percent off. I love bookstores even though I’m a terrible reader, always randomly starting and stopping prose meant to be read from beginning to end.

I found several things worth buying, but I was most excited about Kelly Corrigan’s “Lift.” I think it was the last copy left, and I’ve wanted it since it came out last year.

I only know Corrigan’s work through clips of readings and video essays I’ve seen on YouTube and the Today Show. But I consider myself a fan. Her writing is simple and deep and funny and tender.  

“Lift” happens to be a tiny book perfect for a terrible reader like me. It’s pretty, too, with a beautiful green butterfly on the cover, and the title obviously implies one will feel good while reading it.

Anne Lamott wrote a review on the back, and the quote before the book even begins is lovely: “All things want to fly.” ~R.M. Rilke

There is absolutely no way I’m not going to love this book. I’ll probably memorize it, I thought. And I bought it for the grand total of $3.40. What could be better?

What I didn’t know until I got home, cracked the spine and began to read is that “Lift” is about motherhood. It is written as a letter to Corrigan’s two daughters, Georgia and Claire.

While I’m quite sure it is as beautiful and inspiring as I imagined, it was not what I expected. Not at all. It felt like a slap in the face. I was inclined to throw the book across the room, but I didn’t. I just stared at its gorgeous cover in disbelief.

Pretty book, you are not meant to be read by me. Not right now anyway.


  1. Evil, evil book! I hate that this happened. It made me well up with tears. Maybe you should take the cover off and use it as decor. And the pages as toilet paper.

    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

  2. Thank you, Nicole & Erin! It kind of sucked. xoxo!