Poetry Madness
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | March 17, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Peter Stark: The Powells.com Interview



Peter StarkIt's hard to believe that 200 years ago, the Pacific Northwest was one of the most remote and isolated regions in the world. In 1810, four years... Continue »
  1. $19.59 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$16.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Local Warehouse Psychology- Suicide

History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life

by

History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life Cover

ISBN13: 9781439101933
ISBN10: 1439101930
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 3 left in stock at $16.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“It is so nice to be happy. It always gives me a good feeling to see other people happy. . . . It is so easy to achieve.” Kim's journal entry, May 3, 1988

On the night of April 15, 1990, Jill Bialosky's twenty-one-year-old sister Kim came home from a bar in downtown Cleveland. She argued with her boyfriend on the phone. Then she took her mother's car keys, went into the garage, closed the garage door. She climbed into the car, turned on the ignition, and fell asleep. Her body was found the next morning by the neighborhood boy her mother hired to cut the grass.

Those are the simple facts, but the act of suicide is anything but simple. For twenty years, Bialosky has lived with the grief, guilt, questions, and confusion unleashed by Kim's suicide. Now, in a remarkable work of literary nonfiction, she re-creates with unsparing honesty her sister's inner life, the events and emotions that led her to take her life on this particular night. In doing so, she opens a window on the nature of suicide itself, our own reactions and responses to it — especially the impact a suicide has on those who remain behind.

Combining Kim's diaries with family history and memoir, drawing on the works of doctors and psychologists as well as writers from Melville and Dickinson to Sylvia Plath and Wallace Stevens, Bialosky gives us a stunning exploration of human fragility and strength. She juxtaposes the story of Kim's death with the challenges of becoming a mother and her own exuberant experience of raising a son. This is a book that explores all aspects of our familial relationships between mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, but particularly the tender and enduring bonds between sisters.

History of a Suicide brings a crucial and all too rarely discussed subject out of the shadows, and in doing so gives readers the courage to face their own losses, no matter what those may be. This searing and compassionate work reminds us of the preciousness of life and of the ways in which those we love are inextricably bound to us.

Review:

"The early death of Bialosky's sister Kim, who took her own life at age 21 in 1990, shocked and changed her family forever. The 'sorrow, shame, and incredulity' surrounding her death in Shaker Heights, Ohio, overwhelmed Bialosky, and only in the past few years has the author been able to fathom her sister's inner turmoil at the time of the suicide. Ten years older than Kim and by a different father, Bialosky was at the time newly married, pregnant with her first child, living in New York and embarking on a writing career; Kim, whose father had left their mother when she was three, had dropped out of high school and taken up with a drug dealer boyfriend who at least once beat her up. In the months preceding the suicide, Kim had been attending college courses and working as a waitress, yet she was towed under by crippling feelings of hopelessness compounded by the breakup with the boyfriend. The absence of Kim's father during her upbringing prompted her deep-seated sense of unworthiness, Bialosky concludes, while her mother, suffering lifelong depression and dependent on various drugs, required more care than she could give her daughter. In a beautifully composed, deeply reflective work, Bialosky, an editor at Norton, draws from literary and psychological examples to honor her sister through a thoroughly examined life. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"Valiant and eloquent....Bialosky's thoughtful book elucidates the complexity of suicide." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"A searing elegy...this memoir reads like butter and cuts like a knife." People

Review:

"A tender, absorbing, and deeply moving memoir....[Bialosky] writes so gracefully and bravely that what you're left with in the end is an overwhelming sense of love." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Extraordinarily useful...a source of solace and understanding....[Bialosky’s] hand is always skillful, as attentive to the rhythms of storytelling as to conveying emotion." Time

Review:

"A profound and lyrical investigation...Bialosky writes sensitively and beautifully." New York Magazine

Review:

"Brave and beautifully crafted." The Daily Beast

Review:

"An extraordinarily valiant and resonant testimony to the healing powers of truth and empathy." Booklist

Review:

"In quietly piercing language, [Bialosky] delivers a sure sense of a 'beautiful girl' who took her own life at age 21 and of what it means to grieve such a death, burdened with an awful sense of responsibility that can’t easily be shared with others." Library Journal

Review:

"This is the kind of book that can teach us — all of us — about what it means to be a thinking, feeling human being. A book, in other words, that will teach you how to live." Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed poet and novelist, a exploration of her sister's suicide and its lifelong impact on those left behind.

About the Author

Jill Bialosky is Executive Editor at W.W. Norton.  She has published three collections of poetry, including Intruder (Knopf 10/08) and two novels, most recently The Life Room (Harcourt 2007, Mariner 2008).  She lives in New York City with her husband and son. 

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

catfish, May 2, 2011 (view all comments by catfish)
After 20 years, the author tries to come to terms with her baby sister's suicide. In this heart-wrenching account, she looks at suicide from many perspectives-- the emotional, psychological, poetic and the personal-- as she recounts her sister's short life. We really experience her personal pain and come to know her sister, even if we never really understand what led her to kill herself. The book stays with you long after you finish reading.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439101933
Author:
Bialosky, Jill
Publisher:
Atria Books
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Death, Grief, Bereavement
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Sociology-Suicide
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20110231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Sportswriter
    Used Trade Paper $5.95
  2. This Life Is in Your Hands: One...
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  3. Townie: A Memoir

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Suicide
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Grief
History and Social Science » Sociology » Suicide

History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Atria Books - English 9781439101933 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The early death of Bialosky's sister Kim, who took her own life at age 21 in 1990, shocked and changed her family forever. The 'sorrow, shame, and incredulity' surrounding her death in Shaker Heights, Ohio, overwhelmed Bialosky, and only in the past few years has the author been able to fathom her sister's inner turmoil at the time of the suicide. Ten years older than Kim and by a different father, Bialosky was at the time newly married, pregnant with her first child, living in New York and embarking on a writing career; Kim, whose father had left their mother when she was three, had dropped out of high school and taken up with a drug dealer boyfriend who at least once beat her up. In the months preceding the suicide, Kim had been attending college courses and working as a waitress, yet she was towed under by crippling feelings of hopelessness compounded by the breakup with the boyfriend. The absence of Kim's father during her upbringing prompted her deep-seated sense of unworthiness, Bialosky concludes, while her mother, suffering lifelong depression and dependent on various drugs, required more care than she could give her daughter. In a beautifully composed, deeply reflective work, Bialosky, an editor at Norton, draws from literary and psychological examples to honor her sister through a thoroughly examined life. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "Valiant and eloquent....Bialosky's thoughtful book elucidates the complexity of suicide."
"Review" by , "A searing elegy...this memoir reads like butter and cuts like a knife."
"Review" by , "A tender, absorbing, and deeply moving memoir....[Bialosky] writes so gracefully and bravely that what you're left with in the end is an overwhelming sense of love."
"Review" by , "Extraordinarily useful...a source of solace and understanding....[Bialosky’s] hand is always skillful, as attentive to the rhythms of storytelling as to conveying emotion."
"Review" by , "A profound and lyrical investigation...Bialosky writes sensitively and beautifully."
"Review" by , "Brave and beautifully crafted."
"Review" by , "An extraordinarily valiant and resonant testimony to the healing powers of truth and empathy."
"Review" by , "In quietly piercing language, [Bialosky] delivers a sure sense of a 'beautiful girl' who took her own life at age 21 and of what it means to grieve such a death, burdened with an awful sense of responsibility that can’t easily be shared with others."
"Review" by , "This is the kind of book that can teach us — all of us — about what it means to be a thinking, feeling human being. A book, in other words, that will teach you how to live."
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed poet and novelist, a exploration of her sister's suicide and its lifelong impact on those left behind.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.