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Judy Goldman, Together: A Memoir of a Medical Mishap

Saturday, February 23   |   11:00 am

A routine procedure left novelist, memoirist, and poet Judy Goldman’s husband paralyzed. Together is her unforgettable account of the struggle to regain their “normal” life and a nuanced portrait of a marriage tested.

When Judy Goldman’s husband of almost four decades reads a newspaper ad for an injection to alleviate back pain, the outpatient procedure sounds like the answer to his longtime backaches. But rather than restoring his tennis game, the procedure leaves him paralyzed from the waist down–a phenomenon none of the doctors the family consults can explain. Overnight, Goldman’s world is turned upside down. Though she has always thought of herself as the polite, demure wife opposite her strong, brave husband, Goldman finds herself thrown into a new role as his advocate, navigating byzantine hospital policies, demanding and refusing treatments, seeking solutions to help him win back his independence.

Along the way, Goldman flashes back to her memories of their life together. As she tries envision her family’s future, she discovers a new, more resilient version of herself. Together is a story of the life we imagine versus the life we lead–an elegant and empathetic meditation on partnership, aging, and, of course, love.

Judy Goldman is the author of two award-winning poetry collections and two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back, which was a finalist for SIBA’s Novel of the Year and winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award and the Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction. Her memoir, Losing My Sister, was a finalist for both SIBA’s Memoir of the Year and ForeWord Review‘s Memoir of the Year. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, The Washington Post, and in many literary journals. She teaches writing workshops throughout the Southeast, and serves on the permanent faculty of Table Rock Writers Workshop. Born and raised in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Goldman has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, for many years. She and her husband have two children and four grandchildren.