Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary (Hardcover)
Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary is an intimate, exquisite, and true account of what it is to help a parent die. After her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, former home care worker and award-winning writer Rebecca Brown cared for her mother during the last six months of her life. This spare, unsentimental book comes out of that experience. In short chapters headed by definitions of medical terms, she confronts anemia, chemotherapy, metastasis, cremation. Brown’s is a poignant and unflinching story of how one family coped with loss and learned about the longevity of love.
The Wisconsin edition is for sale only in North America.
About the Author
Rebecca Brown is the author of seven novels, including The End of Youth, The Terrible Girls, and What Keeps Me Here, and her short stories are widely anthologized. Her novel The Gifts of the Body won a Lambda Literary Award and has been translated into several languages. Brown divides her time between Seattle and Vermont, where she is a faculty member in the Master of Fine Arts program at Goddard College.
"Rebecca Brown’s prose is like Shaker furniture: simple, strong, and useful, in the most beautiful sense. She writes here of loss and love with as much truth as necessary and far more poetry."—Amy Bloom, author of Come to Me
"Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary is by someone who is (and should not be) the great secret of American letters, Rebecca Brown. [It is] what great books should be: relevant, urgent, honest, true."—Dale Peck, Interview
“The way family crisis brings family memory into play; the way timing and delivery have a crucial role in how medical information is absorbed by family members; the way generational role-reversal introduces an element of make-believe into an all-too-real situation--Brown captures it all, with special attention to the unexpected episodes (hat selection, waiting room encounters) that make minutae loom large in any medical ordeal...the reader is simply carried forward toward a conclusion that both devastates emotionally and lays open the fragile nature of the flesh.”--The Seattle Times