Nothing can be more frightening to a parent than to learn that her child is gravely ill. Author Judith Hannan will share her personal story — and her book about the journey — at the Speakeasy Series on Wednesday, May 22, at State Road Restaurant, which, in collaboration with the West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc., continues the series of evenings with noted authors to benefit the library’s capital campaign.
In her emotionally uncompromising memoir, “Motherhood Exaggerated,” Judith Hannan recounts the ordeal of her young daughter’s battle with cancer and how the harrowing medical journey tested and strengthened a mother’s resilience.
This latest volume from Laurel Books, Cavan Kerry’s Literature of Illness imprint, takes readers from diagnosis to remission as eight-year-old Nadia Hannan endures the nightmare of potentially terminal bone cancer, and the entire family weathers the dire interruption in their lives. Told with grace and candor, Judith Hannan’s fierce depiction of an unwelcome trial of motherhood is, in the words of novelist Mary Gordon, “a moving, engaging retelling of the complex bonds and tensions every parent experiences in our relationship with our children.”
Judith Hannan has been a writer for more than 25 years. Ten years ago she began exploring personal narrative. Her essays have appeared in such publications as Woman’s Day, Twins Magazine, the Vineyard Gazette, Mon Writer’s Literary Magazine, The Healing Muse, and the anthology On the Vineyard III. She teaches writing about personal experience to homeless single mothers and to at-risk adolescents.
Ms. Hannan has a long history of involvement in children’s education, health and welfare. She served as Director of Development for the 92nd Street Y and then for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. She serves on the board of the Museum as well as on three boards affiliated with the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York — The Adolescent Health Center, the Children’s Center Foundation and the new Global Health Initiative. Ms. Hannan lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
The May 22 Speakeasy with Judith Hannan begins at 5:30 pm at State Road Restaurant, located at 688 State Road in West Tisbury. As at all Speakeasy events, hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will be served and there will be a chance to meet and speak personally with the author. The price per ticket is $35 per person. Space is limited, so early booking is advised. For more information, or to make reservations, please call Carol Brush at 508-693-3489.
Future Speakeasy dates include July 30 at 7:30 pm with Jill Shaw Ruddock, author of “The Second Half of Your Life,” speaking at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. On August 7 at 5:30 pm, Amor Towles, author of the best selling novel “Rules of Civility,” will speak at The Granary Gallery in West Tisbury. For more information, visit wtlibraryfoundation.org.