From the creator of the iconic "Cathy" comic strip comes her first collection of funny, wise, poignant, and incredibly honest essays about being a woman in what she lovingly calls "the panini generation."
As the creator of "Cathy," Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of readers more than forty years ago, and has been there ever since. Her hilarious and deeply relatable look at the challenges of womanhood in a changing world became a cultural touchstone for women everywhere. Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth in this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle.
With her uniquely wry and funny admissions and insights, Guisewite unearths the humor and horror of everything from the mundane (trying to introduce her parents to TiVo and facing four decades' worth of unorganized photos) to the profound (finding a purpose post-retirement, helping parents downsize their lives, and declaring freedrom from all those things that hold us back). No longer confined to the limits of four comic panels, Guisewite holds out her hand in prose form and becomes a reassuring companion for those on the threshold of "what happens next." Heartfelt and humane and always cathartic, Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault is ideal reading for mothers, daughters, and anyone who is caught somewhere in between.
Struggling with the indignities of aging and the stress of caring for both a teenage daughter and elderly parents, Cathy cartoonist Guisewite finds an outlet for her frustrations in this amusing debut essay collection. Fans of the author's long-running comic strip about an insecure career woman will recognize the themes, especially that of the contradictions in the mother-daughter bond. In "Mother's Day Text Message," just after Guisewite shares her sadness at her daughter's departure for college, she reveals the less sentimental flipside by quoting her daughter's communication at the end of that college year: "can u book me a flite and put $900 in my account so I can ship all my stuff?" Another theme, in "In Loving Memory of the Legs I Used to Hate" and many other essays, is the perennial body-image demon faced by women at all life stages. There is also the loving but fraught relationship of adult children with stubborn, independent parents, as seen in Guisewite's dealings with her own mother ("In spite of how cheerfully I've reassured her what a great driver she is, she knows she's being assessed"). Some will find Guisewite's discussions of shoes and makeup shallow, but women who can relate to her experiences and concerns will enjoy her girlfriendish voice and appreciate the more substantive material.