Let's Take the Long Way Home
A Memoir of Friendship
By Gail Caldwell
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812979114, 224pp.)
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
They met over their dogs. Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp (author of Drinking: A Love Story) became best friends, talking about everything from their love of books and their shared history of a struggle with alcohol to their relationships with men. Walking the woods of New England and rowing on the Charles River, these two private, self-reliant women created an attachment more profound than either of them could ever have foreseen. Then, several years into this remarkable connection, Knapp was diagnosed with cancer. With her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion, and courage in this gorgeous memoir about treasuring a best friend, and coming of age in midlife. Let’s Take the Long Way Home is a celebration of the profound transformations that come from intimate connection—and it affirms, once again, why Gail Caldwell is recognized as one of our bravest and most honest literary voices.
Look for special features inside.
Join the Circle for author chats and more.
Gail Caldwell is the former chief book critic for The Boston Globe, where she was a staff writer and critic for more than twenty years. In 2001, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. She is also the author of A Strong West Wind, a memoir of her native Texas. Caldwell lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Gail Caldwell wasn't looking to make friends when she met Caroline Knapp. But gradually the women's lives became thoroughly intertwined, and they formed a sisterly bond that lasted until the day Caroline died of lung cancer. Now Caldwell has written a memoir, Let's Take the Long Way Home, about their friendship. More at NPR.org
NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.
- The book’s subtitle is “A Memoir of Friendship.” Why it is not simply “A Memoir,” and what does this say about the book as a whole? Whose story, at heart, would you say this is?
“A near-perfect memoir: beautiful, humble, intimate and filled with piercing insights. Meant to be savored and shared.”—Time
“Stunning . . . gorgeous . . . intense and moving . . . A book of such crystalline truth that it makes the heart ache.”—The Boston Globe
“Female friendships is the beating heart of this book. . . . [Gail Caldwell describes] both the very best that women can be together and the precious things they can, if they wish, give back to one another: power, humor, love and self-respect.”—Julie Myerson, The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice
“[A] beautiful book . . . The losing isn’t the exceptional part of this story; everyone loses something, sooner or later. The wonder lies in finding it in the first place.”—Salon
“A tribute to the enduring power of friendship . . . You can shelve Let’s Take the Long Way Home . . . next to The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s searing memoir about losing her husband to heart failure. But that’s assuming it makes it to your shelf: This is a book you’ll want to share with your own ‘necessary pillars of life,’ as Caldwell refers to her nearest and dearest. . . . A lovely gift to readers.”—Washington Post
“[Their] relationship nurtured and inspired Caldwell and Knapp, and in reading about it, we feel enriched as well.”—Chicago Tribune, Editor’s Choice
“Universal . . . [Caldwell] taps the joys of communion with a soulmate.”—Los Angeles Times
“A heartbreaker of a memoir . . . With humor and sadness . . . Caldwell gracefully weaves a thread of stories that describe and ponder friendship and loss.”—USA Today
“High-spirited and heartrending.”—People
“Caldwell’s graceful account ensures that Knapp will be remembered not just for her tragic death but for her vigorous, rich life.”—Parade
NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 10 NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME MAGAZINE
SELECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • Los Angeles Times • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Christian Science Monitor • Publishers Weekly