Meghan O'Rourke

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 convey 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. Unlike many other grief memoirs, The Long Goodbye is an account of the lived experience of loss, written in real time, as it took place.

 

With lyricism and candor, The Long Goodbye captures 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 a memoir about a beloved mother, but an investigation of contemporary mourning.

  • Widely praised memoir about what it means to grieve today [...]

  • O’Rourke’s second collection considers not just private loss but the broader civic losses embedded in American culture [...]

  • Debut collection from one of America’s most highly praised young poets [...]