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Biographies & Memoirs - Memoirs CLMP Publishers

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She May Be Lying Down But She May Be Very Happy

ISBN: 9798218231323
Binding: Paperback
Author: Jody Gelb
Pages: 146
Trim: 4.75 x 7 inches
Published: 11/01/2023

Everything was going right in the delivery room until, suddenly, it wasn't. The baby's brain was damaged; the new mother, unprepared for the life she and her family would now be living.

In dense, lyrical prose, Jody Gelb pays tribute to her daughter's short life. She May Be Lying Down but She May Be Very Happy is a marvel of compression and potency. Gelb lays her experience bare in the full range of its emotional complexity, from profound suffering to ecstatic joy. It is a mother-daughter memoir scrubbed of sentiment. She May Be Lying Down but She May Be Very Happy isn't so much a book as the naked truth of being human in this imperfect world.


Jody Gelb is an actor and author best known for her roles on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning plays Titanic, The Who's Tommy, and Wicked, in which she also toured nationally, as well as television appearances on Law & Order and Dr. Death. This is her debut book.


”There is a space between private and public where we humans waver. SHE MAY BE LYING DOWN BUT SHE MAY BE VERY HAPPY by Jody Gelb explores that liminal space by and through both her body as a mother, lover, performer, and the roles she has inhabited in her life. With raw emotional intensity threaded through with poetic gentleness, these micromovements travel the terrain of how we find home not by running from grief, loss, difficulty, but through them, writing our small prayers to tuck into broken places. A tender triumph.” — Lidia Yuknavitch

"A stage actor's account of her unconventional life with a disabled daughter....Yet for all the apparent chaos, the author discovered the unparalleled gift of joy through Lueza, who died at 16 but was never without a smile on her face. 'I would breathe her in,' she writes. 'Smell her skin and her hair. Mash my mouth into her cheek for kisses….You couldn't possibly imagine that her life would be joyful, but this is how she dragged you up and into life.' As she thoughtfully and understatedly explores the challenges of parenting a disabled child, Gelb also clearly reveals the profoundly transformative power of love. A poignant and a refreshingly restrained memoir." - Kirkus Reviews