The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order (Paperback)
Putting My Father's Death in Order
Mariner Books, 9780156033800, 316pp.
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
When you kill yourself, you kill every memory everyone has of you. You're saying "I'm gone and you can't even be sure who it is that's gone, because you never knew me."
Sixteen years ago, Joan Wickersham's father shot himself in the head. The father she loved would never have killed himself, and yet he had. His death made a mystery of his entire life. Using an index--that most formal and orderly of structures--Wickersham explores this chaotic and incomprehensible reality. Every bit of family history--marriage, parents, business failures--and every encounter with friends, doctors, and other survivors exposes another facet of elusive truth. Dark, funny, sad, and gripping, at once a philosophical and deeply personal exploration, The Suicide Index is, finally, a daughter's anguished, loving elegy to her father.
Praise For The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order…
PRAISE FOR THE SUICIDE INDEX
Written in the form of an index, an acknowledgment of Wickersham’s inability to frame her father’s act in any conventional linear form, this memoir is written in a cool, economical and ultimately piercing style utterly devoid of easy pathos or cliché. Anyone prone to facile dismissal of the memoir as literary high art should be silenced by the perfection of Wickersham's prose and her ability to hold the facts and her feelings up to the light, turning them again and again to reveal yet another facet of grief, anger, love, pity and guilt.