The Stuff of Life by Karen Karbo

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The Oregon Book Awards presented the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction to Karen Karbo for The Stuff of Life. When Karen Karbo's father, a charming, taciturn Clint Eastwood type who lives in a triple-wide in the Nevada desert, is diagnosed with lung cancer, his only daughter rises to the challenge of caring for him. Neither of them is exactly cut out for the job. As Dick Karbo's disease progresses, Karen finds herself sometimes the responsible adult, sometimes a stubborn teenager all over again. But in the end, what father and daughter discover more than anything is the love and the toughness that makes them alike.

About Karen Karbo

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Karen Karbo is the author of three novels, two works of nonfiction, and a memoir, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books. The Stuff of Life was a People Critic's Choice, a selection of the Satellite Sisters Radio Book Club, and winner of the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. A past winner of the General Electric Young Writer Award, Karen is in addition the recipient of an NEA grant. Her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Redbook, Elle, Vogue, Esquire, the New Republic, and Self. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Published December 11, 2008 by Bloomsbury USA. 290 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Between stays in the desert, her own hectic life goes on at home as she faces deadlines for magazine assignments, promotes her latest novel, and cares for her own young daughter and her two stepchildren by her husband’s two ex-wives.

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Publishers Weekly

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Her attempts to discuss the rapidly spreading disease with the world's most uncommunicative patient are indeed valiant, but Karbo's honesty about her partial regression into adolescence is what will distinguish her story from the rest of the cancer caretaker genre.

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Karen Karbo is nothing if not funny, so you'll forgive her—no, you'll thank her—for not turning her chain-smoking father's death from lung cancer into a Lifetime movie weepfest.

Oct 20 2003 | Read Full Review of The Stuff of Life

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