The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying (Thorndike Press Large Print Biographies and Memoirs)

April 5, 2019 - Comment

“Stunning…heartrending…this year’s When Breath Becomes Air.” –Nora Krug, The Washington Post “Beautiful and haunting.” –Matt McCarthy, MD, USA TODAY “Deeply affecting…simultaneously heartbreaking and funny.” –People (Book of the Week) “Vivid, immediate.” –Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe Starred reviews from * Kirkus Reviews * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal * Most Anticipated Summer Reading Selection by

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(as of April 19, 2020 5:51 am GMT+0000 - Details)

“Stunning…heartrending…this year’s When Breath Becomes Air.” –Nora Krug, The Washington Post

“Beautiful and haunting.” –Matt McCarthy, MD, USA TODAY

“Deeply affecting…simultaneously heartbreaking and funny.” –People (Book of the Week)

“Vivid, immediate.” –Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe

Starred reviews from * Kirkus Reviews * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal *

Most Anticipated Summer Reading Selection by * The Washington Post * Glamour * The Seattle Times * InStyle.com * Bookpage.com * Bookriot.com * Real Simple * The Atlanta Journal-Constitution *

An exquisite memoir about how to live–and love–every day with “death in the room,” from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air.

“We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises. They are the only way to walk from one night to the other.”

Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer–one small spot. Within a year, the mother of two sons, ages seven and nine, and married sixteen years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal.

How does one live each day, “unattached to outcome”? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty?

Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nina Riggs’s breathtaking memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in his gorgeous When Breath Becomes Air. She asks, what makes a meaningful life when one has limited time?

Brilliantly written, disarmingly funny, and deeply moving, The Bright Hour is about how to love all the days, even the bad ones, and it’s about the way literature, especially Emerson, and Nina’s other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer. It’s a book about looking death squarely in the face and saying “this is what will be.”

Especially poignant in these uncertain times, The Bright Hour urges us to live well and not lose sight of what makes us human: love, art, music, words.An Amazon Best Book of June 2017: The poet Nina Riggs was 38 years old and living with her young family in Greensboro, North Carolina when doctors discovered a small spot of cancer in her breast. What at first seemed easily treatable turned out not to be, and she found herself in what Montaigne – the writer she turns to for wisdom — called “suspicious country”: a place where death might be just around the corner. In The Bright Hour, the book Riggs wrote during her ultimately terminal illness, she maps that country, determined to see what is lovely in the landscape: her sweet, expressive little boys, her husband, who is honest and funny whenever possible, and her circle of family and friends, some of whom are also going through treatment for cancer. Riggs’s great-great-great grandfather was the poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (referred to here as RWE for short) and Riggs herself displays a formidable gift for language and a light but honest touch with the often — but not always — dark emotions evoked by her situation. To call a book so lovely and sad this year’s When Breath Becomes Air, would not be inaccurate, but would not do it justice. –Sarah Harrison Smith, The Amazon Book Review

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