Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, & Her Polish Heritage

Pearlsong Press
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Growing up in the 1950s was not Ozzie & Harriet and Father Knows Best for Linda C. Wisniewski. Unlike the characters on her favorite TV shows, Linda learned to be quiet, atone for the sins of others, and just plain suffer as a way of life. Only when she came to terms with her Polish Catholic heritage, her physical deformity, and her widowed mother did she find inner peace and the keys to her own happiness.

Readers of Angela's Ashes and The Joy Luck Club will enjoy this mother-daughter saga from sorrow to love.

Author Susan Wittig Albert calls Off Kilter "a splendid first memoir about the difficult business of finding balance in our lives. Funny, honest, deeply moving, Off Kilter reminds us just how hard it is to adjust to the physical pain, the emotional loss, and even the surprising beauty of being fully who we are."

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About the author

Linda C. Wisniewski lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she is a substitute librarian, writes for a weekly newspaper, and teaches memoir workshops. Her memoirs, essays and articles have been published nationally, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pearlsong Press
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Published on
Apr 1, 2008
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Pages
164
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ISBN
9781597190343
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage
Biography & Autobiography / Medical
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Body, Mind & Spirit / General
Body, Mind & Spirit / Inspiration & Personal Growth
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”—USA Today

“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”—The New York Times Book Review

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
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