Suddenly stricken by a life-threatening condition, the author finds she has slipped into an alternate reality—one in which her life and her livelihood are no longer to be counted on. Oddly, she finds it’s a place populated with not just hope, but a newfound appreciation for the splendors of the physical world. Her fight to stay alive, while terrifying, is a deeply vibrant account of survival in the face of illness.
Praise for My, My, My, My, My:
Those of us who mine our own histories to shape our stories, poems and songs know the cost implicit in such work. I call it going naked in public, and I warn young writers that it can be just as uncomfortable to be psychically naked as to be stripped down in a strong wind. What I do not have to say is the worth of that nakedness since I know that for many of us our very survival has depended on others taking that risk—writing true even when making fiction.
When I was eleven, twelve, thirteen years old it always seemed that I discovered the exactly right book or poem when I needed it most. My life was saved over and over again by feeling myself not alone, not a monster, and not fated to be destroyed. Reading Tara Hardy’s poems gives me that same old feeling. This work is lifesaving. This work calls out to all of us, intimately, powerfully, and with an undercurrent of hope and survival. —Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
With scathing vulnerability and raucous insight, Tara Hardy shows us what happens when your immune system turns against you—how trauma becomes illness becomes grief becomes pain becomes trauma becomes illness becomes grief, becomes, somehow, sustenance. My, My, My, My, My is a magic trick, really—from the pink slip to the “viciously green” trees, the invasion of incest to the prodding of the doctor’s tools, the taste of refuge in your mouth to the dangerous texture of the velvety heart, Hardy somehow makes the betrayal of the body into a gateway.
“People want good news,” Hardy writes, and the good news for us is that she refuses to capitulate to the demand for the sick to make everyone else feel better—instead she gives us her guts, and makes us swallow the glitter and the grime so that we can flail with her in our pink dresses.—Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The End of San Francisco