Gail Caldwell, author of Let’s Take the Long Way Home, on tour August 2011

Posted By on March 29, 2011

About Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (August 9, 2011)

It’s an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that, too.”

So begins this gorgeous memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell, a testament to the power of friendship, a story of how an extraordinary bond between two women can illuminate the loneliest, funniest, hardest moments in life, including the final and ultimate challenge.

They met over their dogs. Both writers, Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp, author of Drinking: A Love Story, became best friends, talking about everything from their shared history of a struggle with alcohol, to their relationships with men and colleagues, to their love of books. They walked the woods of New England and rowed on the Charles River, and the miles they logged on land and water became a measure of the interior ground they covered. From disparate backgrounds but with striking emotional similarities, these two private, fiercely self-reliant women created an attachment more profound than either of them could ever have foreseen.

The friendship helped them define the ordinary moments of life as the ones worth cherishing. Then, several years into this remarkable connection, Knapp was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

With her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion and grief in this moving memoir about treasuring and losing a best friend. Let’s Take the Long Way Home is a celebration of life and of the transformations that come from intimate connection—and it affirms, once again, why Gail Caldwell is recognized as one of our bravest and most honest literary voices.

“A near-perfect memoir: beautiful, humble, intimate and filled with piercing insights.  Meant to be savored and shared.” —Time

“[Let’s Take the Long Way Home] left me intensely moved….Caldwell’s greatest achievement is to rise above [death and loss] to describe both the very best that women can be together and the precious things they can, if they wish, give back to one another: power, humor, love and self-respect.”
–Julie Myerson, The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice
“Acutely observed and beautifully written….If you have tears, prepare to shed them….What an astonishing friendship.  What great women.  What a stellar, unforgettable book.”
–The Huffington Post

About Gail Caldwell

Gail Caldwell is the former chief book critic for The Boston Globe, where she was a staff writer and critic for more than twenty years. In 2001, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. She is also the author of A Strong West Wind, a memoir of her native Texas. Caldwell lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Gail Caldwell’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, August 1st- Knowing the Difference

Thursday, August 4th- Book Reviews by Molly

Monday, August 8th- Peeking Between the Pages

Friday, August 12th-  Rundpinne

Monday, August 15th- Life in Review

Thursday, August 18th- BookNAround

Monday, August 22nd- Book Hounds

Tuesday, August 23rd- Amused by Books

Wednesday, August 24th- Crazy for Books

Thursday, August 25th- Colloquium

Tuesday, August 30th- Starting Fresh


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