The Pat Conroy Literary Center will host a virtual evening with USC Beaufort professor Deborah J. Cohan, author of Welcome to Wherever We Are on Tuesday: A Memoir of Family, Caregiving, and Redemption, October 5, at 6:00 p.m. This free event will be hosted on Zoom. Please register at https://patconroyliterarycenter.eventbrite.com by October 1 to receive the video link.
“Welcome to Wherever We Are is a brave memoir that sheds light on the challenges of caring for an abusive parent. This volume is bound to offer solace and support to those in similar situations. Deborah J. Cohan’s honesty and compassion make this a unique and valuable memoir for anyone who has survived abuse by a parent and struggles to make sense of the conflicting feelings of love and responsibility as well as anger and resentment toward their abuser.”―Ms. Magazine
Welcome to Wherever We Are is a meditation on what we hold onto, what we let go of, how we remember others and ultimately how we’re remembered. Deborah J. Cohan shares her story of caring for her father, a man who was simultaneously loud, gentle, loving and cruel and whose brilliant career as an advertising executive included creating slogans like “Hey, how ‘bout a nice Hawaiian punch?” Wrestling with emotional extremes that characterize abusive relationships, Cohan shows how she navigated life with a man who was at once generous and affectionate, creating magical coat pockets filled with chocolate kisses when she was a little girl, yet who was also prone to searing, vicious remarks like “You’d make my life easier if you’d commit suicide.”
In this gripping memoir, Cohan tells her unique personal story while also weaving in her expertise as a sociologist and domestic abuse counselor to address broader questions related to marriage, violence, divorce, only children, intimacy and loss. A story most of us can relate to as we reckon with past and future choices against the backdrop of complicated family dynamics, Welcome to Wherever We Are is about how we might come to live our own lives better amidst unpredictable changes through grief and healing.
Deborah J. Cohan is a professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Alongside her many academic publications, she is the author of the popular blog “Social Lights” for Psychology Today. Learn more at www.deborahjcohan.com.