Books

The Edge of Normal

The Edge of Normal – Kindle Single, 2015

What is normal? Everything in Hana Schank’s life is going according to plan — career, marriage and a growing family. But when her second child is born with albinism, a rare genetic condition whose most striking characteristics are white blonde hair, pale skin and impaired vision, she discovers that the very definition of normal is up for grabs. A moving memoir with flashes of humor, this essay tells one mother’s story of navigating the spectrum of ability and disability, filled with both heartbreak and joy. And how ultimately she and her daughter learn to balance together on the edge of normal.

Excerpts

My Daughter is the Fairest of Them All, Sunday Times Magazine (UK), 8/15

A Whiter Shade of Pale, OZY, 8/15

In the Grand Scheme of Things, Longreads, 7/15

Some unsolicited Amazon reviews from people I am not related to

“You don’t have to have a kid with albinism to relate to this. Just a person living a life. It lays out the broad fact that none of us are living perfect lives – we are all on edge of normal, and that can be a truly wonderful thing when you finally come to terms with whatever it is you happen to have the misfortune of dealing with at the moment. Loved this essay.”

“I was surprised how captivating it was. Couldn’t put it down! The author is a caring mother dealing with her daughter’s diagnosis and challenges. I don’t even have kids and I was so engrossed in this book.”

“This is not your standard “mommy blogging” memoir. It is a wonderful, honest and at moments funny story of a woman coming to terms with an unexpected turn in her parenting plans when faced with a rare diagnosis. An excellent read that will stick with you.”

“As a mother of two sons with Aspergers, I can relate to everything this mother has endured. Beautifully written and poignantly expressed!”

“Life is more random than we all like to admit. My coworker used to say normal is just a setting on a dryer. Author’s writing is a beautiful, honest, tough, page turning, memorable account. Thank you for writing this book.”


A More Perfect Union

A More Perfect Union: How I Survived the Happiest Day of My Life – Atria, 2006

My wedding planning memoir was a Discover Great New Writers selection.

Here’s what Barnes and Noble had to say about it:

Every 21st-century woman faced with planning her wedding thinks she’s going to do things her own way. Schank was no exception. However, as she watched herself slowly succumbing to the succubus of “bridezilla,” she wrote this nifty little book, that will not only educate but also entertain readers along the way.

Just a few weeks after her engagement, Schank realized that the rock she now sported on her ring finger and her wedding plans had become her “new vital statistics.” What she did for a living, where she lived, what she hoped to accomplish in life: “all these facts had now become secondary to the single, all-encompassing fact that soon I would be someone’s wife.” She discovers the joys of poring through the racks of bridal magazines, selecting a dress at Kleinfeld’s, and finding the perfect location. As she stares into the mirror, clothed in the first “princess” wedding gown she tried on, Schank sees instead a woman “young and innocent and eager to share her meat loaf recipe with you.” Her reaction to this transformation? “I think I’m going to hurl.” Approaching a wedding registry her fiancé says, “If we have to register for something, let’s register for something good. Like CDs.”

For brides-to-be, brides-perhaps-someday-to-be, brides-that-were, and anyone else interested in the conflicting feelings this sacred rite brings up for the modern woman, A More Perfect Union is the perfect companion. (Summer 2006 Selection)

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