The Seasons of My Mother by Marcia Gay Harden
The Seasons of My Mother by Marcia Gay Harden
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In this poetic and inspiring memoir, one of America’s most revered actresses uses the imagery of flowers and the art of Ikebana to depict the unique creative bond that she has had with her mother throughout the years—and how, together, they are facing her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Marcia Gay Harden knew at a young age that her life would be anything but ordinary. One of five lively children born to two Texas natives—Beverly, a proper Dallas lady, and Thad, a young officer in the US Navy hailing from El Paso—she always had a knack for storytelling, role-playing, and mischief-making. As a military family, the Hardens moved often, and their travels abroad eventually took them to a home off the coast of Japan. It was here that Beverly, amidst the many challenges of raising a gaggle of youngsters, found solace in Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement.
Using the imagery of flowers and Ikebana as her starting point, Marcia Gay Harden takes us through the different seasons of her mother’s life, all the while weaving in the story of her own journey from precocious young girl to budding artist to Academy Award-winning actress. With a razor-sharp wit, as well as the kind of emotional honesty that has made her performances resonate with audiences worldwide, Marcia describes the family’s travels overseas, her flourishing career in New York and Hollywood, and, most poignantly, Beverly’s struggles today to maintain her identity as she tackles her greatest challenge yet: Alzheimer’s disease.
Featuring photographs of gorgeous Ikebana arrangements created specially for this book, this memoir illustrates the uniqueness, beauty, and unforgettable love of motherhood, as Marcia does what Beverly can no longer do: she remembers. Like a cross between Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club and Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, this memoir is a lyrical, loving homage to one mother’s strength as reflected in the tenacity and artistry of her daughter.
PRAISE FOR THE SEASONS OF MY MOTHER:
“A fiercely loving and tender tribute to Marcia Gay Harden’s mother, remembering for her and for us what Alzheimer’s has stolen, filling those darkened holes with compassion, acceptance, beauty, and love. I savored every page and didn’t want it to end.”— Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice and Every Note Played
“What a surprise to find that Marcia Gay Harden is as talented a writer as she is an actress. She has given us a heartbreakingly beautiful account of a devoted daughter coping with her lovely mother’s slow slide into Alzheimer’s. The book is like Marcia Gay herself – smart, charming, strong, funny, and vulnerable. Among other things, her account of Oscar night when she won for Best Supporting Actress made me laugh and cry at the same time. An elegantly-written, intelligent, and enjoyable read.”—Ellen Burstyn, Academy Award-winning actress and New York Times bestselling author of Lessons in Becoming Myself
“Honest, courageous, and often very funny, The Seasons of My Mother is an unforgettable testament to the unique endurance of the mother-daughter bond. I loved this book.”—Rob Lowe, Emmy Award-winning actor and New York Times bestselling author of Stories I Only Tell My Friends and Love Life
"From the start of this book there is something facing a time and place new to me, speaking a language Marcia is teaching me to understand: I promise you, you have not been here before. If motherhood has a destiny, it is the beautiful life on this road, in these fields, on these pages, where a great actor has told us a true story about her mother and the intelligence and happiness surrounding it."—Alvin Sargent, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Julia and Ordinary People
"Praise, love, and honor all play roles in this respectful, highly affectionate memoir about a spirited mother-daughter relationship."—Kirkus Reviews
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marcia Gay Harden is one of the most celebrated actors of her generation. In 1993, she originated for Broadway the now-iconic role of Harper Pitt in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, a performance that earned her a Tony Award nomination. In 2001, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of the painter Lee Krasner in Pollock and in 2009, she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Veronica in Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage. Her films include Miller’s Crossing, The First Wives Club, Mystic River (for which she received a second Academy Award nomination), Into the Wild, Magic in the Moonlight, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Her television credits include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (for which she was nominated for an Emmy), The Newsroom, How to Get Away with Murder, and Code Black. She holds a BA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the Graduate Acting Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Born in La Jolla, California, she now resides in Los Angeles with her three children. Find out more from TheOfficialMarciaGayHarden.com and follow her on Twitter @MGH_8.
ABOUT THE WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT:
THE WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT (WAM), founded by Maria Shriver, is a global alliance of individuals, organizations, researchers, foundations, influencers and industry leaders committed to finding out women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease. By raising awareness of women’s increased risk and by raising funds for gender-based research, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement believes we can get closer to unlocking the mysteries of this disease and to finding a treatment or cure for all. WAM mobilizes women and men everywhere to stand together and fight against this staggering disease. Get inspired to join this global community of activists, agitators and architects of change and help them change the future for all minds.