By Roger Rosenblatt
(Ecco, Hardcover, 9780061825934, 176pp.)
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
List Price: $21.99*
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"How long are you staying, Boppo?"
When his daughter, Amya gifted doctor, mother, and wifecollapses and dies from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, leave their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren: six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy, and one-year-old James, known as Bubbies. Long past the years of diapers, homework, and recitals, Roger and GinnyBoppo and Mimi to the kidsquickly reaccustom themselves to the world of small children: bedtime stories, talking toys, playdates, nonstop questions, and nonsequential thought. Though reeling from Amy's death they carry on, reconstructing a family, sustaining one another, and guiding three lively, alert, and tender-hearted children through the pains and confusions of grief. As he marvels at the strength of his son-in-law, a surgeon, and the tenacity and skill of his wife, a former kindergarten teacher, Roger attends each day to "the one household duty I have mastered"preparing the morning toast perfectly to each child's liking.
With the wit, heart, precision, and depth of understanding that has characterized his work, Roger Rosenblatt peels back the layers on this most personal of losses to create both a tribute to his late daughter and a testament to familial love. The day Amy died, Harris told Ginny and Roger, "It's impossible." Roger's story tells how a family makes the possible of the impossible.
Roger Rosenblatt's essays for Time magazine and PBS have won two George Polk Awards, the Peabody, and the Emmy. He is the author of six Off-Broadway plays and fourteen books, including his guide to the art and craft of writing, Unless It Moves the Human Heart, and the national bestsellers Lapham Rising, Rules for Aging, and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is currently the Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook University.
After his daughter — a 38-year-old pediatrician with three children of her own — died of a rare heart defect, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, moved in with their son-in-law to help raise their grandchildren. His new book, Making Toast, is his account of the hurt — and humor — that followed. More at NPR.org
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