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Scattering Ashes

Author: Joan Z. Rough
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 1631520962
Size: 32.23 MB
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When her alcoholic and emotionally abusive mother’s health declines, Joan Rough invites her to move in with her. Rough longs to be the “good daughter,” helping her narcissistic mother face the reality of her coming death. But when repressed memories of childhood abuse by her mother arise, Rough is filled with deep resentment and hatred toward the woman who birthed her, and her dream of mending their tattered relationship shatters. Seven years later, when her mother dies, she is left with a plastic bag of her mother’s ashes and a diagnosis of PTSD. What will she do with them? Courageous and unflinchingly honest, Scattering Ashes is a powerful chronicle of letting go of a loved one, a painful past, and fear―a journey that will bring hope to others who grapple with the pain and repercussions of abuse.

Last Trip Home

Author: Wanda Maureen Miller
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 1631523406
Size: 67.70 MB
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“Who do you thank you are, the Quane of Anglund?” That’s what Grace Marie’s father used to say to her whenever he thought she was getting out of her place. In her fifties now, Grace Marie is a college professor living in a beach town in California, and when she gets a phone call telling her that her father is dead, she is glad. She hopes her return for his funeral will be her “last trip home.” As a young girl Grace Marie struggled to escape from poverty, her father's lecherous, controlling grip, and a husband in the Klan. Determined to get an education, she clawed her way to a comfortable life and a home with indoor toilets—but her most unexpected struggle turned out to be survivor’s guilt, so she kept returning home to “fix” her family and the sharecropper shack. After her father’s funeral, Grace Marie burns down the family home—only to discover that she has unexpected ties to both the land and the people in her community. She realizes she will never have a “last trip home.”

Lost In The Reflecting Pool

Author: Diane Pomerantz
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 1631522698
Size: 76.50 MB
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Award-Winning Memoir 2017 Readers’ Favorite When Diane, a psychologist, falls in love with Charles, a charming and brilliant psychiatrist, there is laughter and flowers—and also darkness. After moving through infertility treatments and the trials of the adoption process as a united front, the couple is ultimately successful in creating a family. As time goes on, however, Charles becomes increasingly critical and controlling, and Diane begins to feel barraged and battered. When she is diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, Charles is initially there for her, but his attentiveness quickly vanishes and is replaced by withdrawal, anger, and unfathomable sadism. What Diane previously thought were just Charles' controlling ways are replaced by clear pathologic narcissism and emotional abuse that turns venomous at the very hour of her greatest need. A memoir and a psychological love story that is at times tender and at times horrifying, Lost in the Reflecting Pool is a chronicle of one woman's struggle to survive within—and ultimately break free of—a relationship with a man incapable of caring about anyone beyond himself.

Our Grand Finale

Author: Laraine Denny Burrell
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 1631522396
Size: 80.69 MB
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Laraine Burrell gets the call to come back to England from the United States just in time to visit briefly with her father before he passes away. Following his death, she is overcome with grief, feeling that she has squandered the time she had with her father. Instead of staying close, she chose to travel the world and seek her own goals as a young woman, always thinking there would be time later on to tell her dad all the things she wanted to tell him—how much she loved him, and how he was her hero. Now, she realizes, it’s too late. Wanting to do something significant for her father to make up for her neglect, Burrell reflects on the fascinating life her father, a Royal Yachtsman, led—and decides that the one thing she can do for him is to tell his exceptional life story and make sure he is not forgotten. Our Grand Finale is the culmination of that effort—an exploration of both the author’s and her father’s unusual life experiences, and a reminder that “later” doesn’t always come.

The Tell

Author: Linda I. Meyers
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 1631523562
Size: 10.92 MB
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Linda I. Meyers was twenty-eight and the mother of three little boys when her mother, after a lifetime of threats, killed herself. Staggered by conflicting feelings of relief and remorse, Linda believed that the best way to give meaning to her mother’s death was to make changes to her own life. Bolstered by the women’s movement of the seventies, she left her marriage, went to college, started a successful family acting business, and established a fulfilling career. Written with irony and humor and sprinkled with Yiddish, The Tell is one woman’s inspirational story of before and after, and ultimately of emancipation and purpose.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes And Other Lessons From The Crematory

Author: Caitlin Doughty
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393245950
Size: 57.59 MB
Format: PDF
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“Morbid and illuminating” (Entertainment Weekly)—a young mortician goes behind the scenes of her curious profession. Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures. Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like? Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

Tis

Author: Frank McCourt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780684845241
Size: 32.46 MB
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Frank McCourt's glorious childhood memoir, Angela's Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape. And now we have 'Tis, the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this "classless country," and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank's incomparable voice -- his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue -- that renders these experiences spellbinding. When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should "stick to their own kind" once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach -- and to write -- that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela's Ashes comes of age. As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela's Ashes, "It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best." Frank McCourt's 'Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece.

Dropping Ashes On The Buddha

Author: Stephen Mitchell
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802195474
Size: 66.98 MB
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“Somebody comes into the Zen center with a lighted cigarette, walks up to the Buddha statue, blows smoke in its face, and drops ashes on its lap. You are standing there. What can you do?” This is a problem that Zen Master Seung Sahn is fond of posing to his American students who attend his Zen centers. Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a delightful, irreverent, and often hilariously funny living record of the dialogue between Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn and his American students. Consisting of dialogues, stories, formal Zen interviews, Dharma speeches, and letters using the Zen Master’s actual words in spontaneous, living interaction with his students, this book is a fresh presentation of the Zen teaching method of “instant dialogue” between Master and student which, through the use of astonishment and paradox, leads to an understanding of ultimate reality.

Imagine Wanting Only This

Author: Kristen Radtke
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 1101870834
Size: 57.44 MB
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"A gorgeous graphic memoir about loss, love, and confronting grief. When Kristen Radtke was in college, the sudden death of a beloved uncle and, not long after his funeral, the sight of an abandoned mining town marked the beginning moments of a lifelong fascination with ruins and with people and places left behind. Over time, this fascination deepened until it triggered a journey around the world in search of ruined places. Now, in this genre-smashing graphic memoir, she leads us through deserted towns in the American Midwest, Italian villas, islands in the Philippines, New York City, and the delicate passageways of the human heart. At once narrative and factual, historical and personal, Radtke's stunning illustrations and piercing text never shy away from the big questions: why are we here, and what will we leave behind?"--

Heaven S Coast

Author: Mark Doty
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 006187163X
Size: 35.21 MB
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The year is 1989 and Mark Doty's life has reached a state of enviable equilibrium. His reputation as a poet of formidable talent is growing, he enjoys his work as a college professor and, perhaps most importantly, he is deeply in love with his partner of many years, Wally Roberts. The harmonious existence these two men share is shattered, however, when they learn that Wally has tested positive for the HIV virus. From diagnosis to the initial signs of deterioration to the heartbreaking hour when Wally is released from his body's ruined vessel, Heaven's Coastis an intimate chronicle of love, its hardships, and its innumerable gifts. We witness Doty's passage through the deepest phase of grief -- letting his lover go while keeping him firmly alive in memory and heart -- and, eventually beyond, to the slow reawakening of the possibilities of pleasure. Part memoir, part journal, part elegy for a life of rare communication and beauty, Heaven's Coast evinces the same stunning honesty, resplendent descriptive power and rapt attention to the physical landscape that has won Doty's poetry such attention and acclaim.