New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir

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New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir

by Gail Caldwell
Read by Gail Caldwell

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group | April 1, 2014 | Audio Book (CD)

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The Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of Let’s Take the Long Way Home now gives us a stunning, exquisitely written memoir about a dramatic turning point in her life, which unexpectedly opened up a world of understanding, possibility, and connection. New Life, No Instructions is about the surprising way life can begin again, at any age.
 
“What do you do when the story changes in midlife? When a tale you have told yourself turns out to be a little untrue, just enough to throw the world off-kilter? It’s like leaving the train at the wrong stop: You are still you, but in a new place, there by accident or grace, and you will need your wits about you to proceed.
 
“Any change that matters, or takes, begins as immeasurably small. Then it accumulates, moss on stone, and after a few thousand years of not interfering, you have a glen, or a waterfall, or a field of hope where sorrow used to be.
 
“I suppose all of us consider our loved ones extraordinary; that is one of the elixirs of attachment. But over the months of pain and disrepair of that winter, I felt something that made the grimness tolerable: I felt blessed by the tribe I was part of. Here I was, supposedly solo, and the real truth was that I had a force field of connection surrounding me.
 
“Most of all I told this story because I wanted to say something about hope and the absence of it, and how we keep going anyway. About second chances, and how they’re sometimes buried amid the dross, even when you’re poised for the downhill grade. The narrative can always turn out to be a different story from what you expected.”
 
Praise for New Life, No Instructions
 
“Brimming with insights and wisdom . . . As far as I’m concerned, Caldwell can write about whatever she pleases. . . . Unabashed dispatches from lifelong single women are a fairly recent phenomenon. Caldwell has so much more to teach us.”—Kate Bolick, The New York Times Book Review

“Gail Caldwell offers the kind of wisdom and grace you’d wish a friend, sister, or mother might deliver. . . . Fans and new readers alike will find comfort in Caldwell’s voice.”The Boston Globe
 
“Quiet but powerful . . . an absorbing meditation on grief and rebirth in midlife.”More
 
“Eloquent and uplifting . . . [a story] to inspire you.”Good Housekeeping
 
“Graceful and reflective.”USA Today
 
“[Caldwell] confronts, with pluck and fortitude, the hurdles that life throws her way.”Publishers Weekly
 
“An uplifting journey . . . This book celebrates finding support where you least expect it.”Woman’s Day
 
“[A] beautifully written memoir.”Parade
 
“[A] thoughtful, wide-eyed view of the world . . . [Caldwell] ably explores the shifts of our hearts.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Getting old, as they say, is not for sissies, and no one would call Pulitzer Prize–winner Caldwell a wimp. . . . There may not have been a road map for the life-changing trip [she] was about to take, but . . . Caldwell realized she had the power to endure.”Booklist


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.9 × 5.07 × 1.11 in

Published: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0804190852

ISBN - 13: 9780804190855

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir

by Gail Caldwell
Read by Gail Caldwell

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.9 × 5.07 × 1.11 in

Published: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0804190852

ISBN - 13: 9780804190855

Read from the Book

9781400069545|excerpt Caldwell / NEW LIFE, NO INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cambridge 2011 My first tip-off that the world had shifted was that the dogs looked lower to the ground. I dismissed the perception as a visual misread: Because I was on crutches and couldn’t bend down to touch them, of course they would seem farther away. Then a friend came to visit, a striking woman whom I’d always considered tall. She was standing across the living room and I was smiling, happy to have her there, and I thought, Tink is small! And I never realized it before. The fact is that Tink is about my size, but until that day I had looked up to her in more ways than one. I was just home from five days at New England Baptist Hospital, where the chief of joint reconstruction had built me a new hip and lengthened my right leg by five-eighths of an inch. The measurement sounds deceptively slight, but then pi, unexplained, doesn’t mean much, either. What the extended hip bought me was about two inches of additional height, because I was no longer bending forward in pain. It gave my leg something immeasurable: an ability to reach the ground, and the chance and anatomical equipment to walk right for the first time in my life. Almost as dramatic, at least in the beginning, was the re- orientation of my physical self in space. My perspective had been jolted to the point that trees and cars and other markers of street life felt closer to me, within reach in a way they hadn’t before. I could s
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From the Publisher

The Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of Let’s Take the Long Way Home now gives us a stunning, exquisitely written memoir about a dramatic turning point in her life, which unexpectedly opened up a world of understanding, possibility, and connection. New Life, No Instructions is about the surprising way life can begin again, at any age.
 
“What do you do when the story changes in midlife? When a tale you have told yourself turns out to be a little untrue, just enough to throw the world off-kilter? It’s like leaving the train at the wrong stop: You are still you, but in a new place, there by accident or grace, and you will need your wits about you to proceed.
 
“Any change that matters, or takes, begins as immeasurably small. Then it accumulates, moss on stone, and after a few thousand years of not interfering, you have a glen, or a waterfall, or a field of hope where sorrow used to be.
 
“I suppose all of us consider our loved ones extraordinary; that is one of the elixirs of attachment. But over the months of pain and disrepair of that winter, I felt something that made the grimness tolerable: I felt blessed by the tribe I was part of. Here I was, supposedly solo, and the real truth was that I had a force field of connection surrounding me.
 
“Most of all I told this story because I wanted to say something about hope and the absence of it, and how we keep going anyway. About second chances, and how they’re sometimes buried amid the dross, even when you’re poised for the downhill grade. The narrative can always turn out to be a different story from what you expected.”
 
Praise for New Life, No Instructions
 
“Brimming with insights and wisdom . . . As far as I’m concerned, Caldwell can write about whatever she pleases. . . . Unabashed dispatches from lifelong single women are a fairly recent phenomenon. Caldwell has so much more to teach us.”—Kate Bolick, The New York Times Book Review

“Gail Caldwell offers the kind of wisdom and grace you’d wish a friend, sister, or mother might deliver. . . . Fans and new readers alike will find comfort in Caldwell’s voice.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Quiet but powerful . . . an absorbing meditation on grief and rebirth in midlife.”—More
 
“Eloquent and uplifting . . . [a story] to inspire you.”—Good Housekeeping
 
“Graceful and reflective.”—USA Today
 
“[Caldwell] confronts, with pluck and fortitude, the hurdles that life throws her way.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“An uplifting journey . . . This book celebrates finding support where you least expect it.”—Woman’s Day
 
“[A] beautifully written memoir.”—Parade
 
“[A] thoughtful, wide-eyed view of the world . . . [Caldwell] ably explores the shifts of our hearts.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Getting old, as they say, is not for sissies, and no one would call Pulitzer Prize–winner Caldwell a wimp. . . . There may not have been a road map for the life-changing trip [she] was about to take, but . . . Caldwell realized she had the power to endure.”—Booklist


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gail Caldwell, the former chief book critic of The Boston Globe, received the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism in 2001. She is the author of two previous books: A Strong West Wind and Let’s Take the Long Way Home. A New York Times bestseller, Let’s Take the Long Way Home was the winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association award for nonfiction. Caldwell lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Editorial Reviews

“Brimming with insights and wisdom . . . As far as I’m concerned, Caldwell can write about whatever she pleases. . . . Unabashed dispatches from lifelong single women are a fairly recent phenomenon. Caldwell has so much more to teach us.” —Kate Bolick, The New York Times Book Review “Gail Caldwell offers the kind of wisdom and grace you’d wish a friend, sister, or mother might deliver. . . . Fans and new readers alike will find comfort in Caldwell’s voice.” — The Boston Globe   “Quiet but powerful . . . an absorbing meditation on grief and rebirth in midlife.” — More   “Eloquent and uplifting . . . [a story] to inspire you.” — Good Housekeeping   “Graceful and reflective.” — USA Today   “[Caldwell] confronts, with pluck and fortitude, the hurdles that life throws her way.” — Publishers Weekly   “An uplifting journey . . . This book celebrates finding support where you least expect it.” — Woman’s Day   “[A] beautifully written memoir.” — Parade   “[A] thoughtful, wide-eyed view of the world . . . [Caldwell] ably explores the shifts of our hearts.” — Kirkus Reviews   “Getting old, as they say, is not for sissies, and no one would call Pulitzer Prize–winner Caldwell a wimp. . . . There may not have been a road map for the life-changing trip [she
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