Daddy's Girl 

Kelly Corrigan and her dad had a lot more in common than cancer.

For Kelly Corrigan, it's all about family. The very first words in her new memoir, The Middle Place — before she gets to the part about getting married, having two little girls, getting caught up in the dot-com whirl, being diagnosed with breast cancer, struggling, surviving, and learning that her beloved dad has bladder cancer — are "The thing you need to know about me is that I am George Corrigan's daughter, his only daughter." Philadelphia lacrosse-lover George sounds like the best dad ever: "He makes me feel smart, funny, and beautiful, which has become the job of the few men who have ever loved me since." (Sure enough, the author recounts a scene in which she fishes unsuccessfully for compliments from her husband, who remarks poignantly that he's not, after all, her dad.)

At the Lafayette Library (952 Moraga Rd., Lafayette) on Thursday, Feb. 28, the Montclarion/Piedmonter columnist shares the story that turned into a book after she and her father appeared together on the Today show in 2006. It's an unabashedly honest account of a horrifying series of events, laced with love, humor, and surprising intimacy (including this bit involving her husband): "We started making out, then, moving from the sofa to the floor, we had sex on a rug my old roommate Ted bought off a chain-link fence for seventy-five dollars. After we had both gotten what we came for, we held on to each other for a long time and I cried, like I do sometimes after a really sensational roll." Corrigan founded CircusofCancer.org, which she calls "a how-to site to help you step right up when your friend has breast cancer." It includes guidance on how to react "upon first hearing the news" (send cards, volunteer to bring groceries, babysit her kids) and how to be supportive through chemotherapy and other phases of illness and recovery. What does it mean to grow up? As Corrigan sees it, one sad key to maturity is "to bury someone essential, someone you don't think you can live without, someone attached in so many places you almost fall in after them." 7:30 p.m. CCCLib.org

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