Today, I’m thrilled to welcome memoirist, Annette Januzzi Wick to my blog.
Annette Januzzi Wick longs to find the perfect care home for her proud, Italian mother, who is slipping further into dementia. In her memoir, the author shares gripping truths about the mistakes she makes before ultimately finding a place where her mother heckles an Elvis impersonator and magically bonds with her daughter through Frank Sinatra’s songs. Whether she is breaking up a fight between her mother and the Easter Bunny or advocating for her mother to avoid a tracheotomy, Annette tries to balance the trials with the triumphs of being a daughter—and caregiver. I’ll Have Some of Yours is for anyone who longs to move past being a caregiver to find a deeply human and humane connection with someone you love.
What’s your favorite book from childhood?
Mouse Tales. We were five children (not seven mice), but my mother read the story to me in the various voices. She was my first reader of anyone’s words and my own.
Favorite beverage/snack while you read or write?
When I was editing the draft of a previous work, I used to brew Lapsang Soushong tea. My husband and son would know I was working, because they said the air smelled like a “backyard tire fire” from the tea.
What book would you like to be a character in?
As a writer, I try to imagine myself in every book I read. Working in the field of aging and dementia, Olive Kitteridge interests and entertains me.
Who is your writing heroine/hero?
Pat Conroy. For a time, I was immersed in his books because my older sister read him. Then, I realized the way in which he described much of the South informed how I wrote about the Pacific Northwest in my first memoir, I’ll Be in the Car. Place as character came alive for me.
What’s your favorite genre to read in your free time?
Ironically, I read more fiction than I read memoir. It’s the next mountain to conquer for me.
How do you organize your home library?
My home library is organized via an old filing cabinet that I bought because it reminded me of my father’s shoe store. When I was ten, my first job at his store was to look up customer names in the filing cabinet, or worse, refile the cards. That being said, I did know the shoe size of the cutest boy in town.
Name a book you can’t get out of your head?
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner. Back to the sister topic. I have three sisters. We are now all over 50, and I am fascinated about the trajectories of our lives separate and together.
Where is your favorite place to read?
We live in an old, Italianate-style home, and don’t have room for large furniture. When I was struck by a car, I was at home during my recovery and had to create a few makeshift recliners around me. When my leg injuries healed, I decided a needed a “chair of my own.” I bought a slim armchair from a modern furniture store and found a blanket from Crate and Barrel to cozy up with while I read in that chair. The setting also allows me to look out the window, a view difficult to obtain given some of our window settings in the home.
Where do you do your writing?
I write all over the place. I always carry a journal with me, and there are post-it notes scattered about the house and purse containing all the bits of story I am trying to get out of my head and onto the page.
What book do you reread over and over?
The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy. It was the last book my sister and I shared in. She was later found unconscious after experiencing an anoxic brain event. We were processing our family’s breakup at the time, and I still gravitate toward reading it to understand the falling away on a deeper level.
If you could meet one writer ~ living or deceased ~ who would it be?
I have so many. I’m really not a devotee of any one writer, because I find that I learn from each book I live inside of.
What book is on your bedside table right now?
I’m reading Big Familia by Tomas Moniz because it was edited by a friend of mine. I love finding questions about editing choices and then asking her. I am also re-reading Still Alice, as I work on a presentation about the intersection of memory in literature.
What do you have coming next for readers?
Given the current state of affairs, I have decided, like the dutiful writer I am, to keep a journal. You can frequent my website www.annetttejwick.com which links anyone to my social everything….Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Medium, and find out if I ever make that blog public!