Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen." was originally hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.
Today, Alisha Bashaw joins us and reads an excerpt from her new book Four Eyes: A Memoir of a Millennial Caregiver. Alisha is is a writer, musical theater enthusiast, and an equine and mental health therapist. While in graduate school across the country from her family in 2012, her parents suffered illnesses that took Alisha back and forth between duty and desire, mystery and the known, and pursuit of her own identity and caregiving for family. She began the long stint of learning to let go of the things she held dearest while completing grad school and eventually moving home to help care for her folks. After a five-year battle with death, Alisha’s parents passed, and Alisha began to learn how to live life as a young adult orphan. With a front row seat to her parents’ declines, and a battle between guilt and individuation of her own, Alisha sought meaning for herself and her parents through the healing world of organ donation. She sees life as a story, and couldn’t get through hers without playing and singing music, hanging with her beloved cat, Olive, and reveling in the immense power of kindness. She fully embraces the belief that “I don’t know” is a complete answer, and that love and mystery prevail. She resides in Aurora, Colorado.
Listen to Alisha read an excerpt from her book below:
What it's about:
Can Alisha find balance between self-sacrifice and individuation, or will she watch herself slowly fade away in the process? Eight months into graduate school in a new city, Alisha’s mom suffered a heart attack on her dad’s 60th birthday, rerouting her entire life and demanding that she catapult into full adulthood. Four Eyes: A Memoir of a Millennial Caregiver chronicles the story of Alisha’s struggle to find meaning in the seemingly pointless repeated defeats of her parents’ chronic illnesses that orphaned her in her early 30s. Assuming a caregiving role for her parents in addition to pursuing her own developing life path, Alisha struggles through old maps of thinking where guilt and shame reigned until others were pleased, and she was utterly exhausted. Her witty journey to make sense of it all takes her straight into battle with the crippling grief and powerful darkness that threaten to take over entirely. And to win, she must let go of all she once knew, and follow the unknown into the world of organ donation, deep resiliency, and answerless faith. Sometimes the answer is "I don’t know."