The Long Goodbye: A Memoir
Meghan O'Rourke was thirty-two when her mother died of cancer on Christmas Day, 2008. As a writer, even in the depths of her grief, she was fascinated by what she observed of herself in the aftermath: the rage she felt, not only at what had happened to her mother, but also at the inability of people to acknowledge her pain; her sense that the meaning of her life had changed fundamentally with the loss of a parent; the way that the reassuringly familiar often became somehow completely new and strange. The Long Goodbye interleaves personal recollections of her much-loved mother with an examination of what it means to grieve in a society which no longer has the rituals - or even, most of the time, the desire - to engage with grief, to understand it, and to let it do both its worst - and its best.
* A young woman's memoir of a year of grieving after her mother died, written with anger, insight, wisdom and grace
Emotionally acute, strikingly empathetic, thorough and unstinting intellectually, and of course elegantly wrought. But it's above all a useful book, for life - the good bits and the sad ones, too. Richard Ford 'A beautiful memoir about ...loss of a truly irreplaceable mother - yes, it is sad, it is in fact heartrending, but it is many things more: courageous, inspiring, wonderfully intelligent and informed, and an intimate portrait of an American family as well Joyce Carol Oates In her blazingly honest, relentlessly brave memoir Meghan O'Rourke takes on the strange, impossible time after a parent's death. I couldn't recommend this elegant and fearless book more highly to anyone who has, or has had, a mother. Katie Roiphe, author of Uncommon Arrangements.
Meghan O'Rourke was born in 1976 and lives in New York with her husband. She is a frequent contributor to Slate, a founding editor of Double X, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. She has published one volume of poetry.