Motherhood Exaggerated


Motherhood Exaggerated, the newest Laurel Books release from CavanKerry Press and The Gold Foundation, is a “beautifully written narrative that every reader will find compelling.” (Mary Gordon)

In this memoir, when eight-year-old Nadia cracks her jaw, unmasking a rare bone cancer, mother and daughter are launched on a revelatory journey of treatment, recovery and survival. Not always certain how to raise her daughter, who seemed born with a gravity and preoccupation with death, Nadia’s mother must confront her own upbringing, her past anxiety disorders, her relationship with her husband and other children, and her ambivalence about faith in order to shepherd her daughter toward health and survival.

Foreward (excerpt)

Judith Hannan has performed a valuable service by publishing this remarkably honest account of the crisis she and her family went through as her daughter—now a brilliant and beautiful young woman—dealt with a rare form of cancer. She takes us with her on her journey through the valley of the shadow of death and then back to the sunshine of life. Tears of remembrance came to my eyes and will to the eyes of other readers who have been through similar crises. Judith’s willingness to share intimate feelings and to discuss difficult moments is a gift that will help so many, as it has already helped me, to deal with the past as well as the future.
– Alan Dershowitz

About the Author

Judith Hannan’s essays have appeared in such publications as Woman’s Day, The Healing Music, The Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, and Mom Writers Literary Magazine, among others. She is a judge for The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism-in-Medicine essay contest. Ms. Hannan lives is New York City where she leads writing workshops for homeless mothers and at-risk teens and serves on the boards of the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center, Mt. Sinai Global Health, and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.


A child with a life-threatening illness is every mother’s nightmare. Yet Judith Hannan’s memoir, MOTHERHOOD EXAGGERATED, is a beautifully written narrative that every reader will find compelling. This is not just a tale about a mother and daughter on a frightening medical journey but a moving, engaging retelling of the complex bonds and tensions every parent experiences in our relationship with our children. – Mary Gordon

I congratulate Judi for going through these things again in the writing of this book, for it must have been a harrowing experience. And also, she must now see herself as the artist she is, for she has made us want to go on and turn every difficult page, to burst through the same bubbles that she bursts through and then finally, perhaps midway through her own life, stand naked in the glory of a new and robustly complicated relationship with herself.
– Carly Simon

Promoting the Patient’s Voice

By understanding the patient’s lived experience with illness, suffering and even death a doctor is more able to connect with and treat them as a fellow human being. The patient narrative can come through a variety of paths, such as patient panels, documentary films, literature, visual arts, and more. The Gold Foundation supports projects that help to deepen understanding and empathy for the patient experience, bringing critical insights to practitioners and medical trainees – and the patient public, too. Please click HERE for more information.