Friday, November 5, 2021

Book Review: "Carry the Dog" by Stephanie Gangi

Carry the Dog is an emotional, compelling read about what constitutes art, and a look at complicated familial legacies and how they impact our interpersonal relationships.

Miriam Marx was a noted photographer in the 1960s, particularly renowned for her provocative photos. Her most controversial—and, therefore, best-known—work is a series of photos featuring her preteen and teenage children called the Marx Nudes. Public outcry was fierce and it led to a chain of tragedies at the tail end of that decade.

Years later, Miriam’s daughter Bea is nearing 60 and still hasn’t been able to completely put her childhood behind her. She’s twice-divorced from aging rocker Gary Going but they’re still together periodically, and she’s trying to decide what to do with the rest of her life. Should she write a memoir? Sue Gary for money he owes her for writing one of his most iconic songs?

Suddenly, interest in Miriam’s work has grown again, and both the Museum of Modern Art and a Hollywood producer are interested in telling Miriam’s complicated story. Bea must decide whether to let someone have access to the work and her trauma for the sake of money, or whether to keep it under lock and key in a storage unit.

This was a fascinating book that really packed a punch. It’s about coming to terms with the trauma our parents visit upon us, both willingly and unwillingly, and how we let it affect our lives. It’s also about growing older and trying to determine who we want in our lives.

Thanks so much to Algonquin Books for inviting me on the tour and providing me a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review!!

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