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Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship

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Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship Cover

ISBN13: 9781400067381
ISBN10: 1400067383
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

On the surface it seems so simple: two women, two dogs, and one friendship. The dogs bring them together, but the friendship quickly becomes a force that sustains and nurtures them both. Caldwell's prose shines like afternoon sun hitting the water.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“It’s an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that, too.”

 

So begins this gorgeous memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell, a testament to the power of friendship, a story of how an extraordinary bond between two women can illuminate the loneliest, funniest, hardest moments in life, including the final and ultimate challenge.

They met over their dogs. Both writers, Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp, author of Drinking: A Love Story, became best friends, talking about everything from their shared history of a struggle with alcohol, to their relationships with men and colleagues, to their love of books. They walked the woods of New England and rowed on the Charles River, and the miles they logged on land and water became a measure of the interior ground they covered. From disparate backgrounds but with striking emotional similarities, these two private, fiercely self-reliant women created an attachment more profound than either of them could ever have foreseen. 

The friendship helped them define the ordinary moments of life as the ones worth cherishing. Then, several years into this remarkable connection, Knapp was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

With her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion and grief in this moving memoir about treasuring and losing a best friend. Let’s Take the Long Way Home is a celebration of life and of the 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.

Review:

"Caldwell (A Strong West Wind) has managed to do the inexpressible in this quiet, fierce work: create a memorable offering of love to her best friend, Caroline Knapp, the writer (Drinking: A Love Story) who died of lung cancer at age 42 in 2002. The two met in the mid-1990s: 'Finding Caroline was like placing a personal ad for an imaginary friend, then having her show up at your door funnier and better than you had conceived.' Both single, writers (Caldwell was then book critic for the Boston Globe), and living alone in the Cambridge area, the two women bonded over their dog runs in Fresh Pond Reservoir, traded lessons in rowing (Knapp's sport) and swimming (Caldwell's), and shared stories, clothes, and general life support as best friends. Moreover, both had stopped drinking at age 33 (Caldwell was eight years older than her friend); both had survived early traumas (Caldwell had had polio as a child; Knapp had suffered anorexia). Their attachment to each other was deeply, mutually satisfying, as Caldwell describes: 'Caroline and I coaxed each other into the light.' Yet Knapp's health began to falter in March 2002, with stagefour lung cancer diagnosed; by June she had died. Caldwell is unflinching in depicting her friend's last days, although her own grief nearly undid her; she writes of this desolating time with tremendously moving grace. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

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About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

kdowpdxwisco, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by kdowpdxwisco)
Gail Caldwell comes to us with a raw, emotional recount of what it's like to have a best friend say goodbye far before her time due to an almost unexpectedly short battle with lung cancer. This story, though, is less about loss and more about the triumphant life these two shared together as soulmates and confidants. Their friendship teaches us that the importance of relationships is not just in having them, but in developing them with the people that complement us best.
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wild mountain girl, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by wild mountain girl)
This year I didn't have to stop and think about which book was my number one. Caldwell has written a memoir of a friendship that will be considered a classic for years to come. Outstanding!
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Geri Whitten, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Geri Whitten)
Gail Caldwell writes a beautiful story of a friendship. Friends like these are rare. Fans of Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp will be delighted and if you are not a fan of these amazing women, you will be. I met them through their writing separately and what a delight to find they knew and loved each other. I am honored to know this part of their stories. Huge thanks to Gail Caldwell for sharing what had to be a difficult story to tell.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400067381
Subtitle:
A Memoir of Friendship
Author:
Caldwell, Gail
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Journalists -- United States.
Subject:
Critics -- United States.
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20100810
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.40x6.02x.98 in. .86 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » General
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » Personal Stories

Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship Used Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Random House - English 9781400067381 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

On the surface it seems so simple: two women, two dogs, and one friendship. The dogs bring them together, but the friendship quickly becomes a force that sustains and nurtures them both. Caldwell's prose shines like afternoon sun hitting the water.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Caldwell (A Strong West Wind) has managed to do the inexpressible in this quiet, fierce work: create a memorable offering of love to her best friend, Caroline Knapp, the writer (Drinking: A Love Story) who died of lung cancer at age 42 in 2002. The two met in the mid-1990s: 'Finding Caroline was like placing a personal ad for an imaginary friend, then having her show up at your door funnier and better than you had conceived.' Both single, writers (Caldwell was then book critic for the Boston Globe), and living alone in the Cambridge area, the two women bonded over their dog runs in Fresh Pond Reservoir, traded lessons in rowing (Knapp's sport) and swimming (Caldwell's), and shared stories, clothes, and general life support as best friends. Moreover, both had stopped drinking at age 33 (Caldwell was eight years older than her friend); both had survived early traumas (Caldwell had had polio as a child; Knapp had suffered anorexia). Their attachment to each other was deeply, mutually satisfying, as Caldwell describes: 'Caroline and I coaxed each other into the light.' Yet Knapp's health began to falter in March 2002, with stagefour lung cancer diagnosed; by June she had died. Caldwell is unflinching in depicting her friend's last days, although her own grief nearly undid her; she writes of this desolating time with tremendously moving grace. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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