Shortlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize

Diving into Glass – Caro Llewellyn

Nonfiction · Penguin Random House

Diving into Glass

About the book



Caro Llewellyn was living her dream life in her adopted home of New York, directing an international literary festival. Then one day, running in Central Park, she lost all sensation in her legs. Two days later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Caro was no stranger to tragedy. Her father Richard contracted polio at the age of twenty and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Dignified, undaunted and ingenious, he was determined to make every day count, not least seducing his nurse while still confined to an iron lung, then marrying her.

But when Caro was herself blindsided by illness, cut loose from everything she depended on, she couldn’t summon any of the grace and courage she’d witnessed growing up. She was furious, toxic, humiliated. Only by looking back at her father’s extraordinary example was she able to rediscover her own grit and find a way forward, rebuilding her life shard by shard.

An emotionally brutal memoir of family, vulnerability and purpose, Diving into Glass is a searing, often funny portrait of the realities of disability and an intimate account of two lives filled with vigour and audacity.

“Diving into Glass is a deeply moving journey across family, love, art, literature and loss.”

– 2020 Stella Prize Judges

About the author


Caro Llewellyn

Caro Llewellyn is the author of three previous works of nonfiction. She is the former director of several large-scale literary festivals and cultural events. She has hosted writers from every corner of the globe, including a number of Nobel Prize winners, and presented events at the Sydney Opera House, London’s Southbank, the Louvre, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Town Hall, 92Y and historic Cooper Union. Diving Into Glass is her first work of autobiography.

Further Reading



Reviews 

“Memoirs of illness are tricky. The raw material is often compelling: dramatic symptoms, embarrassing public moments, and unavoidable relationship pressures. The challenge is to share that raw material in a new way.” Astrid Edwards, Australian Book Review.

Links

Read this article for more about Diving Into Glass, Llewellyn’s diagnosis and the book that changed everything here, by Alice Walker for the ABC.

Read a short interview with Caro Llewellyn for a favourite line of her book Diving Into Glass.

 

Judges’ report


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