Making Toast

Making Toast

3.0 83
by Roger Rosenblatt
     
 

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“A painfully beautiful memoir….Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive.”

—E. L. Doctorow

 

A revered, many times honored (George Polk, Peabody, and Emmy Award winner, to name but a few) journalist, novelist, and playwright, Roger Rosenblatt shares the unforgettable story of the tragedy

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Overview

“A painfully beautiful memoir….Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive.”

—E. L. Doctorow

 

A revered, many times honored (George Polk, Peabody, and Emmy Award winner, to name but a few) journalist, novelist, and playwright, Roger Rosenblatt shares the unforgettable story of the tragedy that changed his life and his family. A book that grew out of his popular December 2008 essay in The New Yorker, Making Toast is a moving account of unexpected loss and recovery in the powerful tradition of About Alice and The Year of Magical Thinking. Writer Ann Beattie offers high praise to the acclaimed author of Lapham Rising and Beet for a memoir that is, “written so forthrightly, but so delicately, that you feel you’re a part of this family.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Family tragedy is healed by domestic routine in this quiet, tender memoir. When his daughter Amy died suddenly at the age of 38 from an asymptomatic heart condition, journalist and novelist Rosen-blatt (Lapham Rising) and his wife moved into her house to help her husband care for their three young children. Not much happens except for the mundane, crucial duties of child care: reading stories, helping with schoolwork, chasing after an indefatigable toddler who is “the busiest person I have ever known,” making toast to order for finicky kids. Building on the small events of everyday life, Rosenblatt draws sharply etched portraits of his grandchildren; his stoic, gentle son-in-law; his wife, who feels slightly guilty that she is living her daughter's life; and Amy emerges as a smart, prickly, selfless figure whose significance the author never registered until her death. Rosenblatt avoids the sentimentality that might have weighed down the story; he writes with humor and an engagement with life that makes the occasional flashes of grief all the more telling. The result is a beautiful account of human loss, measured by the steady effort to fill in the void. (Feb. 16)
Kirkus Reviews
A father grieves over the stunning loss of his 38-year-old daughter, who died in 2007 of a rare, undetected heart condition while exercising at home. Rosenblatt (English and Writing/Stony Brook Univ.; Beet, 2008, etc.), who has excelled in nearly every literary form-journalism, drama (six Off-Broadway plays), nonfiction and fiction-now adorns the memoir genre with a graceful, slim but piercing tale of loss and its sometimes grievous, sometimes ennobling effects. The author describes his daughter, a pediatrician with three children and loving husband, in tender tones. The extended family seems remarkably cohesive and affectionate, with a fondness for irony and humor. Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, moved into their daughter's in-law apartment in their home and assumed as many useful roles as possible. They taxied children, cooked, cleaned, ran errands, etc. The title derives from one of the author's morning tasks-making the children's breakfast. Though deeply wounded by tragedy, Amy's family was financially fortunate-able to afford private schools, a child psychotherapist and a nanny 12 hours per day, five days per week, as well as a retreat to the elder Rosenblatts' capacious and quiet summer home in Quogue. The author rarely discusses how fortune-financial and otherwise-eased their awful burden. Although the flow of the text has a gentle current, it frequently shifts and bends and obeys a psychological rather than a chronological imperative. Rosenblatt employs the urgent present tense as he relates how he and the others cope, but for Amy he must use the painful past. There is plenty of hugging and tears, but thankfully no mawkishness or emotional manipulation. Through the glass of theauthor's transparent style we see all the sharp and soft contours of grief.
NPR's All Things Considered
“[An] exquisite, restrained little memoir filled with both hurt and humor.”
Bookbrowse.com
“A must read for all....By no means treacly with sentiment, the book takes us through the ordinary along with the extra-ordinary events in the life of this family as they struggle to regain their center and go on with their lives.
Los Angeles Times
“[A] gem of a memoir... sad, funny, brave and luminous....[a] rare and generous book.”
USA Today
“Rosenblatt…sets a perfect tone and finds the right words to describe how his family is coming with their grief… It may seem odd to call a book about such a tragic event charming, but it is. There is indeed life-after death, and Rosenblatt proves that without a doubt.”
Christian Science Monitor
“Hauntingly lovely.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061969874
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/16/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
129,395
File size:
0 MB

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