Zoe Carter’s IMPERFECT ENDINGS

One of the best books I’ve read in the last year is Zoe FitzGerald Carter’s IMPERFECT ENDINGS, a memoir about a mother who decides, after years of stuggling with Parkinson’s, to end her life. While this might seem depressing or gruesome, Imperfect Endings is in fact tender, wise, and occasionally funny.  The moral fog that Zoe and her sisters had to navigate–not to mention all of the emotional history of an entire life’s worth of dealing with a difficult, wonderful, flinty, gloriously mercurial mother–feels like familiar, tremendously affecting territory. How DO we help our loved ones when it’s clear that their lives have become a source of sadness and pain? For a loving child, what are the right choices for a parent who truly wants to end her life? For that matter, what does “helping” mean?

This terrain, I suspect, is ground that more and more of us will find ourselves treading in years to come. Zoe’s a friend of mine, so do know that this gush-a-thon comes from a not disinterested party. But I loved this book. I suspect lots of my readers will love it too.

Zoe’s got a lovely web site too, which is linked here.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted July 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    With respect to, “This terrain, I suspect, is ground that more and more of us will find ourselves treading in years to come. “, if we haven’t already been there except for the actual act itself. And I’m reminded of the NPR interview with Willard Wirtz about being 96 and feeling long past his time to die.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • The Boylan Family, summer 2010

    DSC_0063 "You hang around our family, you learn all kinds of stuff."
  • Will Forte as Jennifer Finney Boylan on “Saturday Night Live”

    WiFo-Jennifer Finney Boylan-1
  • Jenny with Barbara Walters, December, 2008

    wawa
  • Jenny atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin

    2036947979_34bfbec240 August, 2002.
  • Surrounded

    boylanWith President Clinton and Maine's Governor John Baldacci, fall 2006.
  • JFB and Edward Albee

    edward_albee_by_fred_j_field-150x150

    Edward had been my teacher at Johns Hopkins in the winter of 1986. He visited Colby in fall, 2007. As we took our leave of each other, he kissed me on both cheeks and said, "We have done well. You and I."

  • Jenny and her teacher, the great John Barth

    Boylan_Barth

    Jack was my professor at JHU when I did my thesis, back in the day. After many years, I can now confidently say I finally understand his definition of plot. Which is, of course, "the perturbation of an unstable homeostatic system and its catastrophic restoration to a new and complexified equilibrium."