She has now produced a “Hamster Island” a memoir in which she chronicles, her unremarkable life as a member of a very poor, super-dysfunctional family that includes a mostly absent father, a religious fanatic mother, a kleptomaniac grandmother, and two special needs siblings, all residing more or less in the middle of a parking lot. The story moves from Joan’s lively coming of age in the sixties to her role as caretaker for both siblings after her parents’ deaths, at which time she must resort to extraordinary measures to locate the midpoint between their needs and her own.
Readers will move from laughing to crying as Joan shares with us her life in the pages of “Hamster Island”.
When asked what she hoped people would get from reading this book she replied…
“I hope readers will laugh and cry as they read Hamster Island and find it really entertaining. I hope those who happen to be siblings of persons with special needs will come to feel that their conflicted feelings, especially those they had as children, are totally understandable and acceptable. I hope readers who have never given much thought to individuals with special needs will start thinking about them and feel more compassion for them. I hope I start a conversation. I have so many questions, philosophical questions that arise from the mysteries that I came across in my life; I hope readers will help me to answer them. I hope some high-profile politician—one of those guys/gals who on the one hand preaches that everyone must be pro-life, and on the other would love to see food stamps and Medicaid and other social services drastically cut or eradicated from state and fed budgets—will somehow come across my book and read it and have an epiphany and publicly renounce his/her previous convictions and begin to fight for social justice for one and all. That’s a lot to hope for, but then hope wouldn’t be hope if it wasn’t sweeping.”
The book is one that I believe all will enjoy with dark moments mixed with humor.
So listen now and share an interesting, and entertaining show as I chat with my special guest today on A Book and a Chat with Joan Heartwell
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A Book and a Chat with Joan Heartwell
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You can find out more about my guest and their books at:
"Joan Heartwell - Hampster Island"
Barry Eva (Storyheart)
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