Read Sleeping with Cats by Marge Piercy Online


Marge Piercy, a writer who is highly praised as both a poet and a novelist, turns her gaze inward as she shares her thoughts on life and explores her development as a woman and writer. She pays tribute to the one loving constant that has offered her comfort and meaning even as the faces and events in her life have changed -- her beloved cats.With searing honesty, Piercy teMarge Piercy, a writer who is highly praised as both a poet and a novelist, turns her gaze inward as she shares her thoughts on life and explores her development as a woman and writer. She pays tribute to the one loving constant that has offered her comfort and meaning even as the faces and events in her life have changed -- her beloved cats.With searing honesty, Piercy tells of her strained childhood growing up in a religiously split, working-class family in Detroit. She examines her myriad friendships and relationships, including two painful early marriages, and reveals their effects on her creativity and career. More than a reminiscence of things past, however, Sleeping With Cats is also a celebration of the present and the future, as Piercy shares her views on aging, creativity, and finding a lasting and improbable love with a man fourteen years younger than herself.A chronicle of the turbulent and exciting journey of one artist's life, Sleeping With Cats is a deeply intimate, unforgettable story....

Title : Sleeping with Cats
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060936044
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sleeping with Cats Reviews

  • Debbie Zapata
    2019-05-26 09:09

    I loved this book about Marge Piercy's life and the cats who have shared it with her. I have read Piercy's work since the late 80's when I found Gone to Soldiers; and I collected titles over the years from the used book sales I prowled. Last year when I treated myself to quite a few splurges at my favorite online used bookseller, I ordered as many Piercy books as I could get, and this was one of them.I liked her honesty in the first chapter. We all remember events in our lives a bit differently than other people who lived through them with us. I see that a lot with my husband, who will tell stories about this or that in such a way that I wonder who he was with at the time, even though I know it was me. Piercy reminds us that this book is her perspective on her life, not anyone else's, which is of course what a reader expects from a memoir.This sentence, also from the first chapter, touched me deeply. "It is primarily about me, but my life has a spine of cats, and it is also about them." I completely understand what she means by that phrase: I feel the same way about horses, and the fact that I am apart from them these days often makes me feel I am missing something crucial to my life.The lives of her cats are woven into Piercy's own story. From Buttons to Arofa, from Brutus to Cho-Cho, they share the ups and downs of Piercy's world. She has had Burmese, Siamese, Korat cats, and plain old cat cats. Every one was special to her, every one was a unique personality and greatly treasured. Piercy had a rough childhood. She had to learn to cope with the emotional and physical traumas she went through each day. She was Jewish and was beaten for that. She was poor and was taunted for that. She was not a boy so her father practically ignored her. She joined gangs; she carried a knife to protect herself if she could not run fast enough to escape trouble. And through it all she had a fiercely burning desire to BE, to get away, to live her life on her own terms. I have even more admiration for her after reading this book than when I knew her only through her fiction. She may not have lived a 'normal' life (whatever that may be), but she has certainly lived, and has proven herself to be a survivor. Thank you, Ms. Piercy for this book, for all the others I have enjoyed and for those still waiting. But most of all, thank you for being the inspiration you are to me and to all women who choose not to have 'normal' lives.

  • Zinta
    2019-06-15 13:26

    An honest writer will admit that everything that he or she writes, down to a grocery list, is in some form autobiography, revealing the author's sense of life, core values, interests. The art of literary expression, like any art, is a self-portrait, and the higher the level of quality, the truer we have been to ourselves. When a book reads flat or false, suspect a lie. When Marge Piercy writes—and she writes like nobody’s business, having to date published 17 novels and 17 collections of poetry—she comes to life on the page. Piercy is the perfect illustration of a writer’s words shaping the self-portrait, because it makes no difference what genre or style she chooses, she rings true. Poetry or prose, fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, no doubt even that grocery list, show facets of the author. Reading this memoir, Sleeping with Cats, confirms that accuracy, adding layers of understanding to her creative work, for here we see her characters at their birthing place, in the lifelines of Piercy herself. Piercy was born in the mid 1930s in Detroit, Michigan. Her ethnic background is Jewish and Lithuanian, but it is the former that roots most deeply in her. Her father was a hard-hearted man, an often abusive husband and father, never letting her forget he would have much preferred a son. Their relationship moved between cool and cold, their most successful conversations “about the Tigers and the weather.” In his entire lifetime, Piercy's father never read any of his daughter's books.Her mother was a submissive woman who made a career of repressing dreams while trying, as emotionally battered women do, to please the husband that would not be pleased. Yet she knew her feminine powers and used them like weapons or tools of survival, while they were not enough to save her own dwindling spirit (and perhaps contributed to its brokenness). She seemed to resent the unbreakable spirit in her daughter, who observed as a girl her mother, an incurable flirt, around other men: “Half the men we dealt with were convinced she was crazy about them, but she mostly felt contempt. They were marks. She had a job to do and she did it. She was obsessed with my father, not with any of these men about whom she had a rich vocabulary of Yiddish insults which she muttered to me after each encounter.”It was a tough childhood of gangs and early sex, with boys as well as other girls, of a pregnancy at age 17 that Piercy had to abort herself, nearly bleeding to death in the process. She never would have children, never wanted them. She learned about life through the hardest knocks, losing a young girlfriend turned prostitute to a heroin overdose (“I understood why she had let her pimp get her hooked: it numbed her.”), and having her fingers broken by her angry father, and always knowing herself different, an outsider—yet somehow never really doubting her own worth. She made being different work for her. These were the makings of a young woman who would become one of America’s strongest feminist voices. Piercy is educated at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She wins scholarships. She earns top grades. She is self-sufficient in all things. Piercy is smart and she knows it, and she uses her mind with equal prowess to using her sexuality, enjoying both, lavishing easily in the pleasures each provide. Swearing to never marry (“Marriage… seemed to me a kind of death for a woman, in which she lost not only her will and her power but even her name. I was determined never to marry…”), she marries early, and marries three times. Piercy makes no saint of herself here, nor does she demonize her husbands or lovers. They come to one another with faults, give love best they know how, leave with a few scars left behind but also gifts and valuable lessons. Piercy’s second marriage is open, like it or not, at her husband’s insistence. She comes to accept her husband’s affairs, focusing on her own interests and literary pursuits. Eventually, she takes a lover of her own. It is the 60s, a time of hippies and communal living and making love not war, and Piercy embraces this period of exploration. It works for her. Never becoming a mother, she becomes instead something of a communal mother, the woman at the center of the group, cooking and caring and cleaning for all, maintaining a kind of sanity and order to things. There is something about Piercy that is both rule breaker and order maker, the center of the storm and the anchor in chaos. Her husband’s affairs work only when the other women show her due respect and, preferably, friendship—often a closer one with Piercy than with her husband, the shared lover. Writing and cats are the thread that binds a life that moves from Detroit to Chicago to New York to San Francisco to Paris to Cape Cod, with a few detours between. Piercy is determined to succeed at her art, and she maintains a disciplined pace at creating novels and other works even when nothing sells, or when it does and gets no notice. Piercy has a steely will and the persistence to carry it through. Her marriages succeed, it seems, when they give her the solid ground on which to set up her writing desk. Her second husband gives her five years to succeed, and she sets to work with determination. If it takes her longer than that, no matter, she shrugs off rejection and keeps writing. Piercy meets her third husband while married to her second, and while one relationship unravels, the third takes on strength. Ira Wood is also a writer, and the two in some ways seem very different, including their 14 year difference (he is the younger), but are soul mates in the ways that matter. Of her relationship choices, Piercy writes: “I do not love primarily with my eyes. I have had lovers who were gorgeous and lovers who were plain, who were skinny and neurasthenic, who were bulky and overweight. I have cared far more for how each of them treated me than for my eyes’ pleasure.” Piercy speaks for most women in this, with women choosing partners who bring substance to a relationship as of primary importance, and she finds this in her third marriage, a partner with whom she can talk and talk and talk endlessly, argue and debate and discuss, and enjoy a companionship rich in all aspects of intimacy. Memory is faulty and relative, Piercy writes in her memoir, but hers always rings sound with a story that does not show its heroine in always the kindest light. What gives her voice such strength, after all, is that she is honest in her portrayal of self, and so, of all her characters, admitting to faults and mistakes, not shying away from moments of truth. We see the outsider, we see the survivor, we see the woman who will never be ashamed or apologetic of her appetite for life. At the conclusion of each chapter is one of Piercy’s poems, adding another layer of insight to her experience. Many times, these poetic interludes are our chance to look the deepest into Piercy’s psyche and heart. And if we ever doubt that this woman of determination and smarts and steely survival skills lacks a more conventional feminine softness, we can be assured it is there. We see it for those allowed into her closest circle—her cats. She loves fully her felines, her heart breaks at their loss, and she nurtures and nourishes and pampers like a true earth mother. Her observations of their personality quirks and antics and changing moods are often the most delightful sections of her writing. She loves and is loved unconditionally by her cats, and as living things do, here is where she comes most alive. Concluding her memoir, for those who have already read some of Piercy’s works, and understanding her background gives a reader much greater understanding of the characters in her many, many books. We see the faces of Piercy, of her husbands and lovers, her parents, her friends, and yes, her cats. They appear in all her books, and so we see, this memoir is only one of her many memoirs, each one a stunningly honest and open look at what makes a woman a woman, how she expresses herself in freedom, how she loves and lets go and lives to love again—her men, her cats, her work, her homes, her world. ~Zinta Aistars for The Smoking Poet, Spring 2010 Issue

  • Ruth
    2019-06-03 09:10

    Marge Piercy is a fascinating person. We are almost the same age, and in many ways our experiences overlap. We lived in San Francisco at the same time. Back in the 60s she led the life I then wanted to lead. I'm sort of glad it didn't happen, given the complications of Piercy's life. More fun to read about it. Interesting how she weaves the stories of her cats through the stories of her life.

  • Susan
    2019-06-06 16:10

    Interesting memoir by a writer I have followed through the years. I enjoyed all her novels from her early years on. (She sure had a lot of sex! With many partners!) Guess she is old now. (like me!) :) I loved hearing about all of her beloved cats. We are both cat ladies.

  • Jenniffer
    2019-05-29 15:16

    A wonderful memoir. Another author that I now understand more clearly my connection. As with Dorothy Allison, she has a working class background and a strong feminist sense and history. The framing of the book with her relationship with the cats in her life spoke to me as well. It has made me think about the relationships I have had with animals in my life (dogs have played a role in my life as well.) It has given me another leaping off place for stories.

  • Kayla
    2019-05-21 14:28

    I honestly want to read this again. How I love a poet as similar to me, especially one who loves cats haha

  • Nikki
    2019-06-14 11:19

    Cats. Poetry. Politics. Sex. Sexual Politics. Feminism. Activism. Tough women. Would that I had read this book when I was 17. I could have used it. Marge Piercy is amazing.

  • Chel
    2019-06-12 16:28

    Marge Piercy's voice has been present in my life since the early 1970s -- I have not read everything she has written, but what I have read has been important to me. This book spoke to me on three levels--her experience as an activist (she is enough older than I to have offered a guiding perspective about what preceded the times I lived through, the insights of an older sister, while still seeming familiar), her life as a writer, which is much referred to but not really explored, and her own evolution as a person in relationship to others. The book is what I consider a real memoir--her memories, experiences, reflections are presented without an effort to frame them into an arc of suspense and resolution like a novel. (Actually, you could argue that this is what happens in her primary relationships with men, but it feels real, not contrived.) The title suggests the perspective: it is based at home, the various homes she has lived in through her life (home is where you sleep, home is where your cats are). Even when she writes about travel and political action, she writes about them from the perspective of how they have an impact on her life at home. You rarely go with her on her trips, and hardly ever into the streets or into the collaborative work of movement groups, or into the process of creating a poem. That is OK--you can only write so much, and this book makes the parts she does describe come to life. I wonder why she wrote it. I had a vague sense that she wanted to set down her perspective and justify her choices to all the critics. At any rate, even though I wanted to know so much more, it was delicious.

  • Barbara
    2019-05-24 16:31

    Intelligent and unsentimentalSometimes rambling, often brilliantly evocative, Sleeping With Cats, pleased me most when Piercy spoke of her cats. I felt her connection to them was profoundly moving. I even shed some tears when she described Oboe's death. Thank you for a book that explores our relationship to these sensitive and intelligent beings.

  • Leila
    2019-05-22 13:14

    I'd never read a Piercy book before Sleeping With Cats. I chose it randomly because my library offered it as a digital Kindle rental, and I grew up with many cats, so the familiarity appealed to me. Anyone who values cats that much must be someone I understand, right?This book was wonderful, and one of the most well-written and sophisticated memoirs I've read. Rather than writing a book with the sole purpose of glorifying herself (as too many writers do), or writing a book that's main appeal is shock value, or to explain her side of a controversial event, she writes something more complex (although it doesn't abstain from these things either). Piercy wrote a strong narrative with thoughtful commentary, political and historical relevance, intimate and sometimes scandalous details, and a beautiful, weaving story. Even though I never knew about Piercy beforehand, after reading the book I was fully absorbed in her marriages and love problems, her cats, her feminism, and her rags-to-riches writer success story.Piercy wrote about herself in a way that was warm and personable. She didn't fluff herself up too much or degrade herself too much. She seemed proud of herself and her accomplishments despite her weaknesses. She seemed familiar. She reminded me of different relatives of mine who are her age (the fact that she is Jewish, a women's right advocate, a writer, a cat collector, or married three times, are all things that describe one or the other of my grandmas). At points she reminded me of myself, as any great memoir writer should. So maybe I had a certain bias towards her because of this familiarity - and if so, you should consider that when reading my review.Although I am still not sure whether I will pick up any of her other writings (poetry was never really my thing), I can say that Marge Piercy wrote a memoir worth respect.

  • Maria Longley
    2019-05-20 11:08

    Marge Piercy provides a vivid account of the times she's lived through and her determination to be a writer. I learned a lot about cats and I was fascinated by the ongoing and repeated choices that were involved in her life to be a writer - it isn't a one-off choice. The memoir describes a fully-lived life and touches on some of the huge political events over the decades that she was involved in. The activism of the time from the point of view of a woman was fascinating. Cats were allowed abortions when women weren't, a drag of communal living is having to listen to people's dreams over breakfast, there was a time/place where open relationships were the norm, women still had to do most of the cleaning and cooking... The ability to find and identify a core of support as she describes her home and garden and cats and relationship with Woody seems so precious after her long search for it. And the interspersed interludes of her cats lives at the time of her writing the memoir meant that when I popped over to her website after reading the book, her blog sounded as if it was a continuation of the memoir but with different cat names. I found that rather comforting, because of course life doesn't stop after the completion of a memoir and I hope she's still going as strong now as she was then.Each chapter ends with a poem and I enjoyed being introduced to her poetry too. A well written memoir and very interesting to engage with. I want to read some of her other work now too.

  • Patty
    2019-06-12 11:03

    Marge Piercy has been one of my favorite authors for decades. That is not evident if you look at my list of books on this website. However, I have read many of her novels and I regularly return to my copy of her collected poems. She turned out to be the perfect subject for my paper on an American Jewish woman.There is plenty of information available about her, her writings and her commitment to Judaism. So my paper was easy to research. Not so easy to write, but I am a librarian not an author. So I had plenty of material - the paper could have been better.This memoir was a big help. Also I was glad to find out what Piercy's life was like and what she has been doing for the last ten years or so. I just wish I had more interest in cats. Her animals are very important to Piercy and much of this book was about them. While I was reading about Piercy, I was also reading books by Maya Angelou. These two women have a lot in common, pain, suffering, poverty, to name a few. I am amazed that so much good work and great writing could come out of their difficult lives. I am grateful to them both for the good they have done in the world.I recommend this autobiography to anyone interested in what was going on in the United States during the 1960's, to readers who like meeting interesting people and to young women who may be looking for a womanist view of the world.

  • HeavyReader
    2019-06-17 12:18

    This book is so fantastic!I love so much about Marge Piercy. I love the way she decided to remain childless because she knew she couldn't sacrifice her writing and her time to be a good mother. I love the way that she knows she can be a difficult person. I love the way she is a true, strong feminist who wants equality for women, equality for people. I love the way she understands poverty, having grown up in it. I love that she gardens, grows food, barters her produce for food she cannot grow. I love that she uses the word "zine" throughout her book. I love her strength, her determination, her fortitude. I love that she loves cats, sex, and travel. I wish I could be her friend.This book is the story of Piercy's life, everything that's happened to her woven around the core of the cats she has known and loved. She writes about her husbands too, her books, her friends, but at the center is her cats.Piercy ends each chapter with one of her poems. My favorite is "The Weight" which concludes chapter seventeen. This book is substantial. The writing is solid, engaging, challenging, but not difficult. I read with my new dictionary at my side, looking up the dozen or so words I didn't know.I think this is my new favorite book. I think I need to write Marge Piercy a fan letter.

  • Kim
    2019-06-08 11:14

    Oops, the good review is when I thought I was commenting on another book. Not this one. The writing is okay, but it's too long and drawn out. There were good parts: her gardening, her writing about writing, the politics, and some of her friends.I don't think I've ever quit reading a book that far into it before. I just can't bear to keep going. The years she continues to cover her open marriage are too much. I can't read another word of it. Also, I keep thinking she'll wise up and get out of it, but no, she continues on and continues in a depression over it. It's titled, "Sleeping with Cats". There's only a paragraph or two for each lengthy chapter about the cats. It should be titled "Sleeping with Men and 5% cat stories (at best)". So, April 17th isn't truly the day I finished reading the book. It's the day I set the book aside because I can't stand to read another word. So glad I didn't pick it for book club!!!Here are 2 quotes I did enjoy:"I am a woman with my mother inside, inside her my grandmother, her mother, reaching beyond memory, all of us making the same ritual gesture. It comforts me. I have lost so many people that I need ways to remember and cherish my dead.""A place and time to write is a necessity, and love is a luxury, but I have spent a great many years searching for both. I am a stray cat who has finally found a goodhome."

  • Amy Fremgen
    2019-06-11 08:32

    I had vaguely heard of Marge Piercy but had never read anything she's written. I was attracted to this memoir/autobiography book because of its title. She is a very good writer and I loved the stories of her cats. However, I was surprised when I discovered she had attended my alma mater (Northwestern U.) a year after I graduated because her life there was so different from mine, it seemed like we had lived in parallel universes. I wanted an education (journalism major) so I could earn a living but she seemed more interested in causes. Her life after school was also strange. She was a strong feminist and worked for women's rights, but in her own life she was always subject to the whims of the men she lived with and eventually supported, including sometimes their other lovers. She became allergic to cigarette smoke and her 'friends' were upset that it impacted on their lives, she was very sick one summer, and no one wanted to help her. She had a very sad life and didn't seem to realize that as a feminist leader she was not sticking up for her own rights. Sort of do as I say not as I do. It's good story, though, and worth reading.

  • Beth Browne
    2019-06-16 10:20

    Marge Piercy has been my favorite writer since I first read Gone To Soldiers twenty-five years ago. Since then I have been slowly working my way through her oeuvre (so many books, so little time!) and recently picked up this marvelous memoir. Although I am not a huge cat fan myself (I like them, but I'm allergic)I understood how Piercy developed such strong attachments to them. I enjoyed the poems and the poetic turns of phrase, but above all I loved the sense of being with her. This book is unflinchingly honest and surprisingly intimate. I admire her even more now for all her struggles. As a writer myself, it's comforting (and frustrating!) to hear how such an icon of American literature struggled for years to make her voice heard.I hated for this book to end and actually put it down toward the end to prolong it. I even considered reading it again, although I almost never do this. Gone to Soldiers is a rare example of a book I've read twice so obviously I'm biased towards this author. Why? Maybe because she tells it like it is (or was) and does it in such a vivid and memorable way. Life is in the details and Marge Piercy's life is in this book. It was a ton of fun to read.

  • Crab
    2019-06-11 13:12

    i really liked this book; it gave me insight into what life was like in 60s/70s movements for social change from the perspective of a woman whose fiction I admire greatly. i found the writing structurally disjointed at times, but really loved the overall structure of having poems at the end of each chapter. i obviously revelled in how passionately intersted in and involved with her cats she is/has been. the most touching parts of her life story are tales of her cats, whom she talks about with a loving detail she does not often afford herself. at times i wish she had the memory and connection availble for a more thorough account of her experiences with illness, which she skirts round and over during most of the book (except at the end), but most likley for good reasons. at times i was struck by how she appears to have very much crossed into a middle class mindset especially in what was probably her early twenties, and at times her tone grated on me in this respect, although this might also be affected by differences of culture and time.

  • Christine
    2019-06-01 11:23

    There are many things to enjoy about this memoir, not the least of which is Piercy's insight into and respect for cats. Reading it has brought a new layer of depth to my relationship with Birdie, who was never under-appreciated to begin with. (And now I want more cats - though Birdie would never allow it. )Having just finished this, my immediate impression is with the richness of life when fully lived and fearlessly faced. Piercy is never sentimental and seldom self-aggrandizing as she relates the events of her life, her thoughts and feelings from her childhood in poor Detroit to an early disatrous marriage to struggling as an unrecognized writer to her impressive work in 60s movements, including work with SDS, NACLA, and early feminist groups. Thoughtful account of life in group marriage, of life with cats, of life with difficult parents, of life with illness, of life in all its highs and lows. Personally, I found much to recognize in Piercy - a fierce feminist with a need for solitude and a streak of the iconoclast.

  • CJ
    2019-05-29 11:28

    The first Marge Piercy novel I read was Braided Lives for a Women's Studies course I had in college. I fell in love and read all her previously written work. Then I had to wait for anything new - and I always read it. I usually enjoyed it too.This book is a memoir of her life. I knew she had grown up in Detroit and went to the University of Michigan. I had no idea it was so difficult for her. She is one of those people who uses the struggle to become stronger and it was fascinating to read. She writes beautifully and I loved the descriptions of her land at Cape Cod. Sometimes I could smell the smells of her garden and the sea. This was a wonderful view inside her brain. There's nothing I like more than to imagine what it's like to be someone else. She's lived an interesting life and I'm am again curious about her novels. I may have to dig some of my favorites up and re-read them just for the fun of it.

  • Cynthia
    2019-06-12 14:19

    Once I plowed through the disjointed beginning, I couldn't put it down. Having myself failed at more marriages that I care to remember, it was interesting to read this life story bravely laid open before me. Whether she means to or not, she shows that connections with men are on a level with connections with cats - with no particular disrespect to the importance of either men or cats. Cats and men have many similarities. They can be very loveable and affectionate, although they largely take you and your efforts entirely for granted. They can be very devoted, although they will also dump you on the spot if they come upon a better deal. For all her liberated-woman-ness, it turns out that it all comes down to the house. What matters for a woman in the end is her nest, the ability to have her own nest and to rule it.

  • Dee
    2019-05-30 16:04

    WOW! I have been reading this on and off since last summer. It is the kind of book I like to read for more than just little bits, so I finished it during my winter break from my job. It was good all along, lots on her earlier years in the movement, relationships found and lost, and cats through out. But the last few chapters, whoa, they almost take my breath away. Starting with the one where she gets very personal with a fearful cat ( I don't want to be a spoiler) and then the eye problems. I have had my own share of eye problems and reading Piercy's account felt so true that I really almost felt like she was there telling me the whole story. I have loved her fiction and poems for years, and this book sort of brought it all home. Her writing is so much her, so much real and true. I can't help but love her.

  • Kathy Skaggs
    2019-06-10 16:09

    I really enjoyed Marge Piercy's memoir, especially what she wrote about her early years. I loved the way she put poems in at the end of each chapter. She used the cats in her life as a way to organize the book, and I couldn't help thinking, sometimes, as I made my way through whole chapters describing her cats and their behavior, likes, and dislikes that the only thing more boring than listening to someone else's dreams is listening to someone else talk about their cats. I love cats, but at times it was too much. I think cat behavior, while truly mysterious and fascinating, can't be talked about in an interesting way, at least not usually. Tribe of Tiger was an exception to that.

  • Linda
    2019-06-02 16:28

    Marge Piercy is so interesting. Her life growing up in poverty with indifferent parents, living in a rough area of Detroit was so richly written. I felt like I could climb into her skin in her early years. As she gets older, she spends too much space on the personality and care of her cats... While well written - it didn't really capture my imagination. I didn't realize she was so out there in her non-monogamous marriage and feminist work. You can really sense the progression from tough kid to adventurous/dangerous teen to radical young adult to growing success to setting down roots on Cape Cod to a mellower passionate love affair with her 3rd husband.

  • Anne
    2019-06-10 15:06

    Took me a while to finish this superb biography... But what a biography! Probably the most honest and frank life story... If you have lived as a feminist this women should be one of your idols... She has the gumption to embrace all her imperfections and mistakes and reveal them in their unabashed glory to the reader... Fearless and opinionated... Marge Piercey takes my breathe away.., A passionate cat lover we are treated to those many furry companions that shared her space throughout her wonderful life... If I was able to embrace my life with half as much love and perspective as this women then I would die happy.... Read it if you have the guts!

  • Juanita
    2019-06-05 10:10

    I wasn't enthusiastic about reading Sleeping With Cats, my book club book for this month, but Piercy is a great writer and I'm truly enjoying getting a peek at her life.I don't know enough about technique to know how she does it, but Piercy manages to do it, but the pace of her sentences follows her chronological age. At the beginning, it feels fast paced and energetic, youthful, and by the end of the book, the pace seems more measured and...perhaps graceful is the word I want. It has been a joy to read. I love how honestly and unapologetically she writes about her life.

  • Carol Chapman
    2019-06-16 16:30

    A friend of my mom's, who has never met me, thought I would love this book based on something my mom must have told her about me, but I don't know what! The book is a very well-written memoir by Marge Piercy. I never previously heard of her, but she's apparently a rather well-known U.S. author and poet. Despite not having heard of her, I enjoyed reading her memoir. She's led an interesting life and did a great job writing about it. Every chapter ended with one of her poems, some of which I liked and some I didn't. All in all, an interesting read.

  • Linda Hollingsworth
    2019-06-17 15:31

    In my opinion some of the best of Marge Piercy's poetry has been no-holds-barred honest, passionate and sometimes humorous. This memoir by the poet and novelist reflects on the life feeding her creativity involving three husbands and six cats she has loved. It has also included an active part in the anti-war movement of the 60's and later her involvement in the feminist movement. Her life has been tumultuous, and as with her poetry and novels about women in transition this memoir is an honest and heartfelt reflection of that journey so far.

  • Ronnie
    2019-06-20 08:08

    I loved this book. Prior to this, I didn't know anything about Marge Piercy, nor had read any of her books. After reading her memoir, I am so impressed with her accomplishments, writing, energy, perseverance and her love of cats. As a lover of cats myself, I truly appreciated how she describes the different cat personalities and the roles they have played throughout her life. The writing is lyrical, like reading one of her poems, some of which are, in fact, interspersed within the book.

  • Susan Austin
    2019-06-04 10:15

    I found this book a bit slow and long-winded, maybe because there was a bit too much detail for my liking about cats and lovers, cats and lovers ... But her childhood, her character, her politics, her experience with open relationships and her early and lifelong dedication to being a writer were all interesting enough to make it a mostly enjoyable read. Good to know more about the woman who wrote one of my favourite books, Woman on the Edge of Time.

  • Cathy
    2019-05-25 12:18

    I might have enjoyed this more if I had been familiar with Piercy's novels/poetry before picking up this memoir. Reading about her childhood was painful and a lot of her life I found vaguely disturbing. She grew up in an earlier time and totally different family environment from my own and I had trouble relating to her story. I did very much enjoy the stories of her cats and how they influenced her life, but struggled with the rest and ended up putting the book down about halfway into it.