Mermaid: A Memoir Of Resilience by Eileen CroninMermaid: A Memoir Of Resilience by Eileen Cronin

Mermaid: A Memoir Of Resilience

byEileen Cronin

Paperback | February 24, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$16.80 online 
$17.95 list price save 6%
Earn 84 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


At the age of three, Eileen Cronin first realized that only she did not have legs. Her boisterous Catholic family accepted her situation as “God’s will,” treating her no differently than her ten siblings, as she “squiddled” through their 1960s Cincinnati home. But starting school, even wearing prosthetics, Cronin had to brave bullying and embarrassing questions. Thanks to her older brother’s coaching, she handled a classmate’s playground taunts with a smack from her lunchbox. As a teen, thrilled when boys asked her out, she was confused about what sexuality meant for her. She felt most comfortable and happiest relaxing and skinny dipping with her girlfriends, imagining herself “an elusive mermaid.” The cause of her disability remained taboo, however, even as she looked toward the future and the possibility of her own family.

In later years, as her mother battled mental illness and denied having taken the drug thalidomide—known to cause birth defects—Cronin felt apart from her family. After the death of a close brother, she turned to alcohol. Eventually, however, she found the strength to set out on her own, volunteering at hospitals and earning a PhD in clinical psychology.

Reflecting with humor and grace on her youth, search for love, and quest for answers, Cronin spins a shimmering story of self-discovery and transformation.

Eileen Cronin won the Washington Writing Prize in Short Fiction and had a notable essay in Best American Essays. A practicing psychologist, she is an assistant editor for Narrative and lives with her family in Los Angeles.
Title:Mermaid: A Memoir Of ResilienceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.24 × 5.48 × 0.85 inPublished:February 24, 2015Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393350746

ISBN - 13:9780393350746


Editorial Reviews

Mermaid is studded with searing moments. . . . But it also contains stories of . . . love and humor. . . . From a childhood enduring painful prosthetics and the misguided pieties of the nuns at school to her adult battles with alcohol and loss, Cronin chronicles her life with courage and grace. — Kate Tuttle (Boston Globe)Utterly believable and totally intriguing. — Susan K. Perry (Psychology Today)Compelling . . . beautiful prose. . . . [Cronin’s] grit, grace, and optimism are a lesson to anyone confronted by a severe challenge. . . . Filled with tribulations, moving moments and, ultimately, the triumph of her undaunted spirit. — Megan McDonough (Washington Post)