Corked: A Memoir (2009) by Kathryn Borel jr.


“Kathryn Borel has written a funny, quirky, bittersweet
memoir full of wry wisdom on the subjects of wine, grief,
memory, France and family.”

–Jay McInerney, New York Times bestselling
author of ‘How It Ended’



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Click here to download Chapter One.

Kathryn Borel Jr. explains her the content of her book with
her voice and hands. And, eventually, a cartoon of a pig
slicing out its belly to make nice sausages.


Kathryn Borel Jr. teaches you a trick that was taught
to her by the shirked ex-girlfriend of a funeral home
director, after he ran off with the embalmer. It involves
champagne and knives!


’Corked’ is a fevered road-trip that takes us deep into the
heart of family mystery, emotional thirst and, in luscious
counterpoint, the vineyards of southern France. Kathryn
Borel writes with unsentimental, unsparing insight about
the distant, inscrutable father traveling beside her, and
past mistakes she is trying to reconcile. She is a caustically
witty companion, who deftly describes the suckerpunches
of a father-daughter relationship, and always spots the joke
inside despair and the tenderness within calamity. The
company of Borel Jr and Sr, sipping, spewing and spatting
their way across France is heart-wrenching and hysterical.”
–Leanne Shapton
, author of ‘Was She Pretty?’ &
‘Important Artifacts and Personal Property from
the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris,
Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry’

“This totally lovely and laugh-out-loud hilarious book marks
the arrival of an auspicious new comic voice. Her metaphors
are like no one’s. I chug-a-lugged, and misted up at the end.
I’m going with Kevin Kline as the father, and Ellen Page to star.”
–Henry Alford
, author of ‘How to Live: A Search for Wisdom
from Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth)’

“Kathryn Borel’s fresh, loud and hilarious voice carries
the reader through the hallowed winegrowing regions of France
with the same unique energy, irreverence and honesty she
uses to explore her volatile father’s soul, psyche and love for
armpit treasures. A must-read for anyone who has ever shared
a bottle of wine (corked or otherwise) with a larger-than-life-
parent … anyone with a beautifully sick sense of humour and
a serious love-hate relationship with the universe.”
—Ibi Kaslik, New York Times bestselling author of ‘Skinny’

“If you would like to know what you look like, you bedraggled,
devoted daughters of men with big personalities, pick up this
mirror. It’s a fun-house mirror. And it’s all reflected here—the
frustration, the love, the bewilderment—in prose that is vintage
Borel: colorful, manic, sensitive, twisted, brilliant and brave.”
—Sheila Heti
, author of ‘Ticknor’ & ‘The Middle Stories’