The Things That Need Doing
By Sean Manning
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780307463241, 256pp.)
Publication Date: December 28, 2010
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“You keep fighting, okay?” I whispered. “We’re in this together. You and me. You’re not alone. You hear me? You are not alone.”
5:38 p.m. It was the precise moment Sean Manning was born and the time each year that his mother wished him happy birthday. But just before he turned twenty-seven, their tradition collapsed. A heart attack landed his mom in the hospital and uprooted Manning from his life in New York. What followed was a testament to a family’s indestructible bond—a life-changing odyssey that broke a boy and made a man—captured here in Manning’s indelible memoir.
SEAN MANNING is the editor of the nonfiction anthologies Rock and Roll Cage
Match, The Show I’ll Never Forget, Top of the Order, and Bound to Last. He lives in
"Sean Manning brings a delicate touch to the heaviest details of loss and grief: the late-night drives, the waiting-room magazines, the loneliness, the community. His story of his mother's life and death manages to be both honest and inspirational--not to mention incredibly moving."
-Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a Mix Tape
"The Things That Need Doing is a marvelous and heartbreaking book. Manning leads us through the minefield of his mother's illness with grace and tenderness. This is a stunning portrait not just of his brave and loving mother but of the current American system of sickness and death. This odyssey will engross and enchant you and ultimately leave you in tears."
—Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead and Exit A
“At once a son’s cry of grief and an ode to the power of familial love, told in the kind
of detail that carries the reader into the story, into the hospital room, and into the
heart of this brave and beautiful book.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion
“A beautiful portrait of hope and perseverance and the final mercy that even death
can sometimes be. Tender and funny and will move the most cynical of souls.”
—H. G. “Buzz” Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights