YELLOW SPRINGS, OH –Author Eileen Cronin will read from and discuss her latest book, Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience at Antioch University Midwest Thursday, March 6 at 6:30. The event is free and will include a book signing afterwards.
An Oprah recommended read, Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience tells Eileen’s story that is both traumatic and wildly funny about her journey of self-discovery. With an unbreakable spirit, she battles the universal themes of love, betrayal, and loss, and learns to cull the truth and beauty from those experiences to forge onward.
When she was three years old, Eileen Cronin’s world was turned upside down. Her parents had taken the family on a vacation that summer, piling all the kids in the car except for Eileen. Left home with her aunt and cousins, Eileen felt abandoned and singled out.
For the first time in her life she not only felt different, but she also realized the truth—she was, indeed, different from every other person around her. Eileen did not have legs; hers ended at the knee, one above the knee on one side and one below it on the other; also, her fingers on her left hand had been webbed until a plastic surgeon reshaped them.
Throughout her childhood, Eileen braved bullying and embarrassing questions brought about by her lack of legs. As a teen, thrilled when boys asked her out, she was confused about what sexuality meant for her. She felt happiest and most comfortable relaxing and skinny-dipping with her girlfriends, imagining herself “an elusive mermaid.”
And, most of all, there was the taboo subject of her disability itself. From an early age, Eileen was acutely aware of the fact that others, including her family, felt embarrassed, ashamed, and frightened by her appearance.
“Mermaid reminds us how the stories we tell and the ones we bury have the capacity to imprison or free us. Cronin’s deep tenderness is born from the astounding hurts she has endured in her amazing life. From her capacity to forgive is born a laughter that is the best kind of wisdom. This deeply alive and sensual women may sometimes forget she is wearing a wooden leg and we can laugh at the absurd consequences, but the reader can never forget this glimpse of our world through the eyes of a Mermaid.” —John Hockenberry
About Antioch University Midwest: Antioch University Midwest is one of the five campuses of Antioch University, an institution proud of serving adult learners and their specific needs. Antioch University is a multi-campus university of more than 4,000 students who study at the Antioch Midwest campus in Yellow Springs, OH, and at campuses in Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Keene, New Hampshire, online and around the world!
Christopher M. Williams