My Foreign Cities

My Foreign Cities

4.5 2
by Elizabeth Scarboro
     
 

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“Uplifting . . . it’s about savoring the present, not allowing sadness to dominate and surrendering yourself to love, for better or worse.”—San Francisco Chronicle
When she was just seventeen, independent and ambitious Elizabeth Scarboro fell in love with irreverent and irresistible Stephen. She knew he had cystic fibrosis, that he was

Overview

“Uplifting . . . it’s about savoring the present, not allowing sadness to dominate and surrendering yourself to love, for better or worse.”—San Francisco Chronicle
When she was just seventeen, independent and ambitious Elizabeth Scarboro fell in love with irreverent and irresistible Stephen. She knew he had cystic fibrosis, that he was expected to live only until the age of thirty or so, and that soon she’d have a choice to make. She could set out to travel, date, and lead the adventurous life she’d imagined, or she could be with Stephen, who came with an urgency of his own. In choosing him, Scarboro embraced another kind of adventure—simultaneously joyous and heartrending—staying with Stephen and building a life in the ten years they’d have together. The illness would be present in the background of their lives and then ever-more-insistently in the foreground.
Beyond the illness, though, is a breathtaking love story. In crystalline prose, Scarboro describes the pulse of her relationship with Stephen with all its illuminating quirks. Like any young couple, they agonize about career choices, attempt ill-fated road trips, bargain about whether to adopt a puppy, and host one memorably disastrous Thanksgiving. They navigate the growing pains of their twenties alongside the twists and turns of life-threatening disease; if their telephone rings at midnight, the caller might be a heartbroken friend, or the hospital offering a new set of lungs. As time goes on and trouble looms, the dangers of Stephen’s illness consume her, just as they will consume readers who feel they have come to know this extraordinary couple.Scarboro tells her story of fierce love and its limitations with humor, grace, and remarkable bravery. My Foreign Cities is a portrait of a young couple approaching mortality with reckless abandon, gleefully outrunning it for as long as they can.

Editorial Reviews

Amy Shearn - O Magazine
“Read the first page of Elizabeth Scarboro's memoir My Foreign Cities, and you're ready for the inevitable tears… More unexpected is this writer's intelligent and gripping honesty… In writing this book [Scarboro] provides certain comfort to others who know what she knows about ‘returning to the strange country I lived in now,’ the one called life.”
Julie Metz
“Elizabeth Scarboro shows us what those fortunate enough to find the deepest love will do for each other. Her memoir is a moving story that will shine its warm light for anyone navigating the rough country of illness with a partner. With some personal observation of the lay of this land, I will shout out—quality medical insurance for all, in our time!”
Roger Rosenblatt
“What strikes you about Elizabeth Scarboro's My Foreign Cities is how well the author sees. Much of the time grappling with the illness of the man she loves is spent in observing him and everything around them both, as if seeing were a way of preserving. Of course, it is. And so, this book, so cleanly written, becomes a quiet lesson in how death may be confronted by an alert and embracing concentration on life.”
Henry L. Carrigan
“Scarboro invites us to accompany her on every mile of her joyous, often terrifying, sad and exalted journey of love. A natural storyteller, she brings vividly to life her struggles both to protect Stephen, who has a “lightness about him,” and to keep him at her side as long as she can so that they can embrace life to its fullest. She leads us down the path where his medical condition consumes every waking minute of their lives—including a lung transplant, its results and Stephen’s eventual decline—and shares her agony, her joy, her anger and her indecision with us.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871407399
Publisher:
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
01/27/2014
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
623,630
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Scarboro is the author of two children’s novels and a winner of the Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for fiction. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and two children.

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My Foreign Cities: A Memoir 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recently my brother in law of 25 years died of CF, after an unbelievable battle. My sister read this book after he died, & told me it was so much like her life with her husband. I read it to try & understand the two of them better for myself. It has been such a big part of the grieving process for both of us. I am so very glad to have read it. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your life, it has made a great impact on mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...if you are looking for an adventure just follow Stephen off the ledge and into the water...characters you'll smile with, get angry at and cry with...it is a good tale for living a full life.