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Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home


Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home Cover


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Publisher Comments:

Pig Candy is the poignant and often comical story of a grown daughter getting to know her dying father in his last months. During a series of visits with her father to the South he'd escaped as a young black man, Lise Funderburg, the mixed-race author of the acclaimed Black, White, Other, comes to understand his rich and difficult background and the conflicting choices he has had to make throughout his life.

Lise Funderburg is a child of the '60s, a white-looking mixed-race girl raised in an integrated Philadelphia neighborhood. As a child, she couldn't imagine what had made her father so strict, demanding, and elusive; about his past she knew only that he had grown up in the Jim Crow South and fled its brutal oppression as a young man. Then, just as she hits her forties, her father is diagnosed with advanced and terminal cancer — an event that leads father and daughter together on a stream of pilgrimages to his hometown in rural Jasper County, Georgia. As her father's escort, proxy, and, finally, nurse, Funderburg encounters for the first time the fragrant landscape and fraught society — and the extraordinary food — of his childhood.

In succulent, evocative, and sometimes tart prose, the author brings to life a fading rural South of pecan groves, family-run farms, and pork-laden country cuisine. She chronicles small-town relationships that span generations, the dismantling of her own assumptions about when race does and doesn't matter, and the quiet segregation that persists to this day. As Funderburg discovers the place and people her father comes from, she also, finally, gets to know her magnetic, idiosyncratic father himself. Her account of their thorny but increasingly close relationship is full of warmth, humor, and disarming candor. In one of his last grand actsFunderburg's father recruits his children, neighbors, and friends to throw a pig roast — an unforgettable meal that caps an unforgettable portrait of a man enjoying his life and loved ones right up through his final days.

Pig Candy takes readers on a stunning journey that becomes a universal investigation of identity and a celebration of the human will, familial love, and, ultimately, life itself.

About the Author

Lise Funderburg is the author of Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity, the first book to explore the lives of adult children of black-white unions. She has been a regular contributor since 2001 to O, the Oprah Magazine and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, Salon, and Newsday. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Reed College, Funderburg lives in Philadelphia, PA.

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

momma2u, September 16, 2009 (view all comments by momma2u)
I just finished reading “Pig Candy” and what a touching and moving book it was. When I got the book, I did not realize that it was going to hit so close to home. I too lost my father when the prostate cancer came back with a vengeance. He had been cancer free for 13 years. The path you took me on with your father only brought back the wonderful memories of my time with my father and his quiet but determined fight with the cancer. I lost him in 2000 but not before he was able to hold my first grand-daughter. To see him hold her and look at her with such love will always be held in my heart. Born and raised in a small town in the south (Mississippi), I was able to picture every aspect of your story descriptions that you gave the reader.

Thank you for such a wonderful book and you have my prayers in the loss of your father also.

God Bless,

Mary Ann
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emosier1984, September 15, 2009 (view all comments by emosier1984)
I am so grateful to Lise Funderburg for writing Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home, which taught me so much about grace and forgiveness. There are so many things I admire about this book, beginning with its structure. I love the way she introduces the reader to her father gradually, through backstory; not until the book’s end do we fully understand what she’s up against in her attempt to reconcile with him. Line by line, scene by scene, she chooses just the right detail to bring the reader physically and emotionally into the story. Her journalistic focus on external events -- the particulars of roasting a pig, slaughtering a lamb, outfitting an RV for a road trip with a dying man -- make her internal journey even more moving. What a good daughter -- and exquisite writer – she is.

Elizabeth Mosier, author of My Life As a Girl
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
jbsworth, September 15, 2009 (view all comments by jbsworth)
I just finished reading PIG CANDY, and know I will read it again soon. I don't think I have ever liked a book so much! I was truly amazed by its tenderness, humor, bits of anger and overall charm - what a masterpiece!
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Product Details

Funderburg, Lise
Free Press
Funderberg, Lise
Personal Memoirs
Funderburg, George Newton
African Americans - Georgia - Jasper County
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.44 x 5.5 in 9.59 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs

Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home New Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Free Press - English 9781416547679 Reviews:
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