About the Book: If our family stories shape us, what happens when we learn those stories were never true? Who do we become when we shed our illusions about the past?
Maya Shanbhag Lang grew up idolizing her brilliant mother, an accomplished physician who immigrated to the United States from India and completed her residency all while raising her children and keeping a traditional Indian home. Maya's mother had always been a source of support--until Maya became a mother herself. Then the parent who had once been so capable and attentive became suddenly and inexplicably unavailable. Struggling to understand this abrupt change while raising her own young child, Maya searches for answers and soon learns that her mother is living with Alzheimer's.
Unable to remember or keep track of the stories she once told her daughter--stories about her life in India, why she immigrated, and her experience of motherhood--Maya's mother divulges secrets about her past that force Maya to reexamine their relationship. It becomes clear that Maya never really knew her mother, despite their close bond. Absorbing, moving, and raw, What We Carry is a memoir about mothers and daughters, lies and truths, receiving and giving care, and how we cannot grow up until we fully understand the people who raised us. It is a beautiful examination of the weight we shoulder as women and an exploration of how to finally set our burdens down.
About the Author: Maya Shanbhag Lang is the author of What We Carry, named a New York Times Editors' Choice, a "Good Morning America" Mother's Day pick, and a Must-Read/Best of 2020 Memoir by Bustle, BookRiot, Parade, Times of India, and others. She is also the author of The Sixteenth of June, long listed for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and named a Must-Read Novel by CBS and InStyle. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and others. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, received the Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction, and is the daughter of South Asian immigrants.