Maya Shanbhag Lang with Joanna Rakoff, What We Carry

Join Porter Square Books for a virtual event with Maya Shanbhag Lang for the paperback release of her memoir What We Carry, with Joanna Rakoff (My Salinger Year)! This event is free and open to all, hosted via Crowdcast. Signed bookplates from Maya will be available with your book purchase!

Register to join the event here:

“A gorgeous memoir about mothers, daughters, and the tenacity of the love that grows between what is said and what is left unspoken.”—Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk

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.

 Maya Shanbhag Lang is the author of What We Carry, which was 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, Bookshop.Org, ParadeTimes 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 TimesThe Washington PostThe Los Angeles Review of Books, Goop, and others. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and is the daughter of South Asian immigrants.

Joanna Rakoff is the bestselling author of the memoir My Salinger Year, which has been published around the world and adapted into a feature film starring Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley, and the novel A Fortunate Age, winner of the Elle Readers' Prize and the Goldberg Prize for Fiction. She has written for VogueThe New York Times, the Guardian, and many other publications.

Register to join the event here:

Event date: 

Monday, April 26, 2021 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Virtual, via Crowdcast
What We Carry: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525512417
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - April 6th, 2021

My Salinger Year Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307947987
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 12th, 2015