Swish: Maria in the Mourning

Overview

"The American dream deferred...but you will never forget Maria." A true story of love, loss and recovery which chronicles a mother's process of mourning after losing her only child, the beautiful and charismatic Maria, to a heroin overdose at the age of twenty-three. "Swish" transcends any other book ever written about addiction due to the author's eloquent and inimitable writing style; a style that masterfully speaks to every aspect of the human condition through its powerful imagery, deftly defining unconditional love, strength and hope. The
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Overview

"The American dream deferred...but you will never forget Maria." A true story of love, loss and recovery which chronicles a mother's process of mourning after losing her only child, the beautiful and charismatic Maria, to a heroin overdose at the age of twenty-three. "Swish" transcends any other book ever written about addiction due to the author's eloquent and inimitable writing style; a style that masterfully speaks to every aspect of the human condition through its powerful imagery, deftly defining unconditional love, strength and hope. The book cover features Maria's maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Daniel Palmer on their wedding day: January 26th, 1946, as her grandfather (a master sargeant in the U.S. Army, having landed in Normandy on D-Day, and serving a total of thirty-one years in the military) seems to hold his twenty-three year-old bride as if knowing their time together will end all too soon. Maria's grandmother died of breast cancer at the age of 41. On the same dance floor are Maria and her beloved boyfriend, Frankie; (although seemingly poised as the golden couple) they unknowingly duplicate the same foreshadowing embrace, thus, a portrait of the American dream deferred.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781432700867
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/10/2007
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Palmer Mutino's -S-W-I-S-H: Maria in the Mourning was also performed as a staged reading in March, 2007, and received stellar reviews due to its universal appeal which courageously deals with every aspect of the human condition...an emotional and literary masterpiece. As a playwright she has produced five plays: Pump and Circumstance, The Off Season, Lawnmower, A Horse Named Jack, There's Coldcuts If You Want 'Em, and has written numerous skits for The Village Players theater troupe's many cabaret productions. Other performance pieces include three children's plays: Old New York, Lemonade Stand, and Mr. Ice Cream. Her poetry has been published in The Poet and The American Poetry Anthology. The American Poetry Association awarded her poem, "Attempted," a first place prize in its nationwide contest in 1984. She has a B.A. in Literature and Theater (magna cum laude) and an M.A.T. in Secondary English Education, both from Manhattanville College where she was also the recipient of The Margaret Williams Award for Literary Criticism for her paper: Moll and Tom: The Forgotten Children in Eighteenth Century Literature. A writing teacher for the Port Chester Council for the Arts for the last twenty-five years, she has taught poetry, creative writing, journalism and every component of the language arts curriculum to students of all ages. She lives in Port Chester, New York with her husband, Peter, where she enjoys her passion for "preserving a lost elegance," through decorating, entertaining and gardening.
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Read an Excerpt

"Then it was Sunday, and still November. She called me and asked me to bring her some food. She told me where she was: the section of town where the human rats live. I got there and pulled over. She walked across the street to my car. I hardly recognized her. Her hair was up...all matted and dirty...her skin was so pale...her green eyes had no luster at all. She had no expression and was wearing a tan and plaid bum's coat. I promised myself I would stay calm: not scream or yell or cry, or tell her to get in the car like I did so many times before. I handed her the food...but I broke. I broke all the way down to my birth to my own death. I broke from my stomach to my heart to my soul. My lungs collapsed and changed places with my throat. I broke everywhere...and was all over breaking...

ever to be whole again."

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    AMAZING

    THIS PROBABLY THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ! I READ IT IN JUST HALF A DAY AND I JUST COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. IT IS JUST AN AMAZING BOOK AND EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SHOULD READ IT!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    An American Dream Deferred

    One minute a mother is relishing the swishing sound of a wedding dress in anticipation of her daughter's wedding. Almost the next minute, it seems, she is mourning the death of that same daughter to horrific addiction and overdose of heroin. It's enough to make her imagine that a ornament-less, six-foot Christmas tree is the perfect size of a heroin dealer which she attacks with unmitigated rage. Words can't describe the cycles of mourning, so aptly described years ago by Kubler-Ross, that consume the being of this mother who was so intimately involved in her daughter's life, as every loving mother would be. But far fewer mothers have had to do deal with the agony and hope of a daughter in rehabilitation, a process given attention in phone calls and Maria's letters from both jail and rehab center. One particularly startling section describes the cold, clinical and heartless treatment Maria's mother received at the hospital where Maria was taken after her overdose. It's impossible to excuse this lack of sensitivity and Maria's mother aptly also describes her reactions to it in a letter composed to the staff of that hospital. The words penned by Ms. Mutino and Maria's friends will poignantly touch the reader's heart but also leave them with the many questions such a death leaves behind, like the destruction wreaked by a horrific storm. The literate quality of this account sets it apart from the multitude of other accounts, with poetry such as 'Heroin and the Livid Lie,' in whith the author describes the process and aftermath of this insidious, consuming killer, '...My bare feet / tiptoe thorugh your psyche... / I am hungry / but you don't feed me.... / Abandoned, / I die inside you...' Swish: Maria in the Mourning is quite simply unforgettable! Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on August 18, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    The loss of a daughter¿

    Pamela Palmoer Mutino shares the story of her daughter. Mutino wants readers to know that Maria was more than an addict. She was intelligent, witty, and beautiful. She was loved. I can only imagine the pain and horror that Pamela Palmer Mutino is experiencing. She cleverly demonstrates how addiction does not only affect the addict but everyone around the addict. SWISH: Maria In The Mourning is beautifully written with the strong emotional voice that comes from a parent¿s love. This is a must read for all parents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2008

    Do Tuxedos Swish Too?

    I've never written a review before, but felt compelled to after reading this book. However, I cannot even find the right words to say though. Nothing seems appropriate. I cannot say outstanding or awesome. I could say heart wrenching but that is a given. To lose a child is not the norm. Hopefully this book that comes from the heart with pain that swells right through the pages will get around enough.........enough so people will understand the agonizing torture parents go through when you lose a child to drugs. When you try and try and the disease is too strong for you or them. My wish is for the stigma of this disease to go away and people treat these children as if they were sick with an illness just like any other illness. Hopefully, one day all people in this world that we live in will come to understand this insidious disease..... understand as I do, because I'll never know if tuxedos swish too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2008

    Parallel Journey Through Time and Eternity

    Author Pam Mutino's story is told in mental imagery, poetic emotion--and bitter reality. Her creative use of dual symbollisms chronicles the saga of her only daughter's lost battle with heroin that profoundly moves the reader. Her juxtaposition of Maria's descending the staircase in their home wearing a wedding gown and then her being carried down while covered on a coroner's gurney, is powerful, leaving the reader astounded. The book is packed with pretty color photos and individual tributes from Maria's family and friends. The story simultaneously weaves a tale of what should have been and what could have been, but who can say for sure, that on some level, somewhere, it isn't....

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