Anna: A Daughter's Life

Anna: A Daughter's Life

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by William Loizeaux
     
 

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Born with a number of birth defects known as VATER Syndrome, Anna Loizeaux’s chances for survival were uncertain. Each day was a gift and each moment was precious. Much of her brief life was spent in hospital nurseries and operating rooms, where medical technology and human intervention mustered all their resources to give her the chance for life that nature

Overview


Born with a number of birth defects known as VATER Syndrome, Anna Loizeaux’s chances for survival were uncertain. Each day was a gift and each moment was precious. Much of her brief life was spent in hospital nurseries and operating rooms, where medical technology and human intervention mustered all their resources to give her the chance for life that nature had not. In the end, they couldn’t.

Anna lived only a few precious, wonderful months, and when she died she shattered the lives of her parents. Where is the design to the death of a child? What is left to hold on to? William Loizeaux began to write a journal. Begun out of the agony of grief and the determination to forget nothing, Anna: A Daughter's Life becomes an affirmation: there is no life without a marker.  In the terrible beauty and uncompromising honesty of her father's prose, Anna has her marker. This stunningly beautiful record of a father’s grief begun out of isolation and helpless rage, becomes an act of celebration. In it, he finds, and offers to us, the courage and spirit that asked so much from so brief a life. Here is an unforgettable portrait of an unforgettable child that reaches out to us all

Editorial Reviews

James McConkey

Reminds me at times of certain passages I cherish in St. Augustine’s Confessions, as well as others in James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and A Death in the Family.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Loizeaux describes how he and his wife coped with the death of his infant daughter in this intimate, harrowing journal. (Sept.)
Library Journal
VATER syndrome, a rare condition of vertebral defects, imperforate anus, and radial/renal dysplasia that combine to form a host of congenital anomalies, remains undetectable by amniocentesis. It therefore came as an awful surprise to the author and his wife when their daughter Anna was born with the condition and when, five months later, despite multiple procedures and operations, she died. This memoir of Anna's life, written in clear, moving prose, chronicles the time with her as well as the year after her death. It is a heartbreaking story, but the author's skill and eloquence make it unforgettable. While it also discusses a baby's death, Elizabeth Mehren's Born Too Soon ( LJ 6/1/91) lacks the memorable writing style of this book. Very highly recommended.-- Janet M. Coggan, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
Kirkus Reviews
An eloquent, extraordinarily painful memoir of a father's loss of his baby daughter. The author (a Maryland-based writer) and his wife, Beth, bore a daughter in January 1989. Her name was Anna. Five months later, she was dead, of something called VATER syndrome—a series of congenital anomalies involving her heart and esophagus, as well as her gastrointestinal system. A series of operations brought Anna to the point of functioning without mechanical help, but she died from unexplained complications following what was deemed a successful attempt to repair the valves in her heart. That's the medical picture. Her father paints another—of intense emotion, of loss, longing, and fear, of empty spaces and silence—but also of courage, devotion, commitment, and the revelations about oneself and the world that only a child can bring. He also gives us a portrait of Anna, of a beautiful, brave, happy infant with wild black hair and long thumbs who cooed and cried and smiled at strangers. There are no easy answers here, no mystical or religious surrender to the unknowable ways of the Almighty. There are no answers here at all, and that, in part, is the power of Loizeaux's story. "I can offer no prescription for dealing with the losses that we all inevitably face," he says, "except to live them and share them as fully as we can." On behalf of his daughter, Loizeaux shares his sorrow with heartbreaking honesty.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611456875
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
02/08/2013
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

William Loizeaux is the author of another memoir, The Shooting of Rabbit Wells, short stories, essays, and two novels for young readers, Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy, and Wings, which received an ASPCA Henry Berg Children’s Book Award and was the 2006 Golden Kite Honor Book for Fiction. He has a second daughter, Emma, and lives with his wife, Beth, in Boston, where he is Writer in Residence at Boston University.

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Anna: A Daughter's Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful book that I would recommend to all!