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About The Language of Loss:
When Barbara Abercrombie's husband died, she found the language of condolence irritating, no matter how well intended. "My husband had not gone to a better place as if he were off on a holiday. He had not passed like clouds overhead, nor was he my late husband as if he'd missed a train. I had not lost him as if I'd been careless, and for sure, none of it was for the best." She yearned instead for words that acknowledged the reality of death, spoke about the sorrow and loneliness (and perhaps even guilt and anger), and might even point the way toward hope and healing. She found those words in the writings gathered here.
The Language of Loss is a book to dip into and read slowly, a collection of poems and prose to lead you through the phases of grief. The selections follow an arc that mirrors the path of many mourners -- from abject loss and feeling unmoored, to glimmers of promise and possibility, through to gratitude for the love they knew. These writings, which express what often feels ineffable, will accompany those who grieve, offering understanding and solace. ( New World Library)
About This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing:
The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series offers a deeply personal memoir of her family's resilience in the face of war and privation.
After sixteen novels, Jacqueline Winspear has taken the bold step of turning to memoir, revealing the hardships and joys of her family history. Both shockingly frank and deftly restrained, her story tackles the difficult, poignant, and fascinating family accounts of her paternal grandfather's shellshock; her mother's evacuation from London during the Blitz; her soft-spoken animal-loving father's torturous assignment to an explosives team during WWII; her parents' years living with Romany Gypsies; and Winspear's own childhood picking hops and fruit on farms in rural Kent, capturing her ties to the land and her dream of being a writer at its very inception.
An eye-opening and heartfelt portrayal of a post-War England we rarely see, This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing chronicles a childhood in the English countryside, of working class indomitability and family secrets, of artistic inspiration and the price of memory. (Soho Press)
About the Presenters:
Barbara Abercrombie has published novels, children’s picture books, including the award winning Charlie Anderson, and books of non-fiction. Her personal essays have appeared in national publications as well as in many anthologies. Her most recent books are A Year of Writing Dangerously and Kicking In the Wall,chosen by Poets & Writers Magazine as two of the best books for writers. Barbara has received the Outstanding Instructor award and the Distinguished Instructor Award at UCLA Extension where she teaches creative writing. She also teaches a monthly writing workshop at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, conducts private writing retreats in Lake Arrowhead and writes a weekly writing blog WritingTime. She lives in Pasadena and Lake Arrowhead, California.
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England.She is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Masie Dobbs series and has published articles in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and other publications. Her short stories have appeared in magazines internationally, and Jacqueline has recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She has contributed to several anthologies of essays and short stories.Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times and National Bestseller, and a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
Monica Holloway is the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Driving With Dead People, the book There Goes Perfect: Marriage, Mayhem and the Split that Damn Near Killed Me, and the bestselling memoir Cowboy & Wills. Her essay "Red Boots and Cole Haans" from the anthology Mommy Wars was described by Newsday as "brilliant, grimly hilarious." Most recently, Monica contributed the essay “Party Girl” to the collection Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost.
Monica has served as a spokesperson for the largest autism nonprofit in the nation, Autism Speaks. She works to raise awareness and participation for issues of autism and family literacy, about which she deeply cares as a mother and an author. In 2011, Holloway received the Women of Distinction Award from the Special Needs Network in recognition for her work and contributions to the underserved special needs communities in Los Angeles.