When Lauren Kessler was 12, her ballet instructor crushed not just her dreams of being a ballerina but also her youthful self-assurance. Now, many decades and three children later, Kessler embarks on a journey to join a professional company to perform in The Nutcracker. Raising the Barre is more than just one woman's story; it is a story about shaking things up, taking risks, and ignoring good sense and forgetting how old you are and how you're "supposed" to act.
Masuo Yasui arrived in America in 1903 with big dreams and empty pockets. He worked on the railroads, in a cannery, and as a houseboy before settling in Oregon to open a store, raise a large family, and become one of the area's most successful orchardists. But his family's life changed forever on December 7, 1941, when they were forced from their homes into vast inland camps. Although shamed and broken, the Yasui family would yet endure to claim their place as Americans.
An acclaimed biographer, Lauren Kessler immerses herself in her work to construct compelling portraits of her subjects. In Dancing with Rose, she recounts her time at a West Coast Alzheimer's facility. Working as an unskilled resident assistant, Kessler learns important lessons about humanity while conducting interviews with patients in various stages of the disease.
"The Living Person, Not the Dying Neuron"
In this age of lunchtime lifts, wrinkle-erasing injections, furrow fillers, and lip plumpers, there’s no question that anyone who aims to look younger easily can. But Lauren Kessler wants something more than to follow the cosmetic path to youthfulness. She wants to live with energy, stamina, vitality, resilience, and health for a very, very long time. Her goal: to reverse her biological age from the inside out.