The New York Times called it “the most raw, honest and engaging memoir” they’ve read in a long time. Mother Daughter Me tells the true story of when Katie Hafner’s 77 year-old mother moved to San Francisco to live with her and her 16-year-old daughter. Hafner will be at White Birch Books on Thursday, September 18, starting at 7 p.m. to talk about this three generation adventure.
Despite a chorus of skepticism from friends, who knew about her tumultuous upbringing, Hafner was determined to do what she could to help her mother, who had recently suffered her own crisis. She even referred to their upcoming experiment as “our year in Provence.” What she found instead was that she was sandwiched squarely between her obligation to an aging parent, with whom she had a difficult past, and her responsibility for her own daughter. They had planned to live together for one year – it lasted six months.
Three generations under one roof can be stressful under the best of circumstances. In this case, not only was Hafner caught between the constant needs of both her mother and her teenager, who were often at odds themselves, but she was also roiled by anger and resentment toward her mother – emotions that she had carried with her for decades, unaware. As Hafner unpacks her relationship with her mother, she is challenged by the question: what is our obligation to our parents as they age, particularly if they were far from perfect when we were children?
By turns heartbreaking and funny, Mother Daughter Me is an insightful and loving book that answers questions about the universal truths of families that are central to the lives of so many.
Hafner was on staff at The New York Times for ten years, where she remains a frequent contributor, writing on healthcare and technology. She is the author of five previous works of nonfiction covering a range of topics, including the origins of the Internet, computer hackers, German reunification and the pianist Glenn Gould.
White Birch Books is located in North Conway Village just south of the park, across from TD Bank. For more information about the event, or to reserve a copy of Mother Daughter Me, call White Birch Books at 356-3200. You can also visit their website at http://www.whitebirchbooks.com or at facebook.com/whitebirchbooks.