Meghan O’Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye, on tour April 2011

Posted By on February 7, 2011

About The Long Goodbye:

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (April 14, 2011)

From one of America’s foremost young literary voices, a transcendent portrait of the unbearable anguish of grief and the enduring power of familial love.

What does it mean to mourn today, in a culture that has largely set aside rituals that acknowledge grief? After her mother died of cancer at the age of fifty-five, Meghan O’Rourke found that nothing had prepared her for the intensity of her sorrow. In the first anguished days, she began to create a record of her interior life as a mourner, trying to capture the paradox of grief-its monumental agony and microscopic intimacies-an endeavor that ultimately bloomed into a profound look at how caring for her mother during her illness changed and strengthened their bond.

O’Rourke’s story is one of a life gone off the rails, of how watching her mother’s illness-and separating from her husband-left her fundamentally altered. But it is also one of resilience, as she observes her family persevere even in the face of immeasurable loss.

With lyricism and unswerving candor, The Long Goodbye conveys the fleeting moments of joy that make up a life, and the way memory can lead us out of the jagged darkness of loss. Effortlessly blending research and reflection, the personal and the universal, it is not only an exceptional memoir, but a necessary one.

“Meghan O’Rourke has written a beautiful memoir about her 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

About Meghan O’Rourke:

Meghan O’Rourke is the author of Halflife, a collection of  poetry.  She is a cultural critic for Slate, and her essays and poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and other publications.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Follow Meghan on Twitter




Meghan O’Rourke’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 4th:  Along the Way

Tuesday, April 5th:  Sophisticated Dorkiness

Wednesday, April 6th: Seaside Book Nook

Thursday, April 7th:  In the Next Room

Friday, April 8th:  Patricia’s Wisdom

Monday, April 11th:  Colloquium

Tuesday, April 12th:  Silver and Grace

Wednesday, April 13th:  Boarding in my Forties

Thursday, April 14th:  Overstuffed

Friday, April 15th:  A Chick Who Reads

Monday, April 18th:  Reviews from the Heart

Tuesday, April 19th:  Life.. With Books

Wednesday, April 20th:  BookNAround

Thursday, April 21st:  Reading on a Rainy Day

Friday, April 22nd:  Rundpinne

Monday, April 25th:  not that you asked

Tuesday, April 26th:  Bookstack

Wednesday, April 27th:  The Avid Reader’s Musings


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