Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mis Lit of the Week?

From Bioedge, this interesting question initiated by the new memoir Imperfect Endings by Zoe Carter that came out this week:

Are memoirs of elderly parents asking for death the Next Big Thing in the mis lit genre? A few years ago misery literature was hailed as the book world's boom sector, but sales have flagged recently, perhaps because stomachs which dine on relentless gloom satiate quickly. However, Imperfect Endings: A Daughter's Tale of Life and Death, to be published this month, could revive its fortunes.

Zoe Carter tells the story of her independent mother Margaret, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and thinks that it is time to make an exit – with her three daughters looking on. New York Times blogger Paula Span, of “New Old Age”, says that the book “blends family history with clear-eyed exploration, examining not only [the author’s] mother’s motives but also the complicated responses of her children and grandchildren”. “I could quote from the book all day,” writes Ms Span. In the end, Margaret just starves herself to death.

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Anonymous Hawley Roddick said...

Like Zoe, my elderly mother committed suicide, and like Zoe's, my story of my mother's death (on my Open Salon blog) was picked up in the New Old Age blog. And I, too, am writing a memoir that includes suffering as well as joy. I suspect people will want to read about both for as long as both are common to the human condition.

Zoe's book is impressive and timely, because assisted suicide is an important issue as Baby Boomers approach old age and possible infirmities.

March 6, 2010 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Ann Neumann said...

Agreed, Hawley. Good luck with your endeavor.

March 6, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

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