I met Rebecca McClanahan on Facebook. I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting her in person. I saw the cover of her new memoir in essays: In the Key of New York City, and because I’m starting to get braver at reaching out to people I want to know, I messaged her and asked for an ARC [Advanced Readers Copy]. We started chatting and found out that we had more than New York City in common (my mother was born in Brooklyn and New York figures prominently in my life), but we also had colon cancer in common. I devoured the ARC of the book in one night. I could imagine myself with her in her apartment trying to capture a squirrel that had gotten in the house two days before the Towers fell. I was with her during her surgery. I walked the streets with her in the aftermath of 9/11. She brings a poet’s eye to the essay. Each piece weaves seamlessly into the next, creating a tapestry of experiences that together form the arc of a woman searching for home.
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