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1 Burnside MEMOIR- WELLNESS

The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order

by

The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

Christopher Lukas lost his mother to suicide when he was 6 years old and his brother, Tony, was 8. The brothers struggled to adulthood in what remained of their family: a devastated father and a domineering maternal grandmother. Christopher became a successful television director and producer; Tony grew up to be the award-winning writer and journalist J. Anthony Lukas, who, despite decades of remarkable... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[G]ems of true insight and lovely prose....[B]eautifully written and haunts the reader long after it's closed. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"In this harrowing, beautifully written memoir, Joan Wickersham tries to understand the forces that drove her father to take his own life. Part detective story, part anguished examination of a family, she traces the myriad repercussions suicide has not only on the future but also on the past. And she has created the perfect form in which to stage her inquiry. A powerful, important book." Abigail Thomas, author of Three Dog Life

Synopsis:

Sixteen years ago, Wickersham's father's suicide made a mystery of his entire life. Using an index — that most formal and orderly of structures — the author explores this chaotic and incomprehensible reality.

About the Author

Joan Wickersham is the author of the novel The Paper Anniversary. Her work has appeared in the Best American Short Stories series. An excerpt from The Suicide Index earned her the 2007 Ploughshares Cohen Award for Best Short Story. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

THE SUICIDE INDEX

 

Suicide:

act of

attempt to imagine, 1–4

bare-bones account, 5–6

immediate aftermath, 7–34

anger about, 35

attitude toward

his, 36–42

mine, 43

belief that change of scene might unlock emotion concerning, 44–47

day after

brothers appearance, 48–53

concern that he will be viewed differently now, 54–55

"little room" discussion with his business partner, 56–58

search warrant, 59–60

speculation relating to bulge, 61–66

deviation from chronological narrative of, 67–71

factors that may have had direct or indirect bearing on

expensive good time, 72–87

Suicide:

factors that may have had direct or indirect bearing on (cont.)

pots of money, 88–102

uneasy problem of blame, 103–104

finding some humor in

ashes, 105

Valentines Day, 106

glimpses of his character relevant to, 107–115

information from his brother sparked by, 116–123

intrafamilial relationships reexamined in light of

Munich, 124–138

my grandmother, 139–151

items found in my husbands closet and, 152–156

life summarized in an attempt to illuminate, 157–195

numbness and

Bullwinkle, 196–198

chicken pox, 199–200

duration, 201

food, 202–203

husband, 204–206

psychiatric response, 207–211

various reprieves, 212–213

opposing versions of, 214–215

other peoples stories concerning, 216–223

other shoe and, 224–228

Suicide: (cont.)

philosophical conundrums stemming from

first, 229

second, 230

possible ways to talk to a child about

family tree, 231–233

full disclosure, 234–235

not yet, 236–237

rational approach, 238–242

weapons god, 243–246

psychiatry as an indirect means of addressing, 247–255

psychological impact of, 256–273

readings in the literature of, 274–277

romances of mother in years following, 278–296

"things" folder and, 297–301

thoughts on method of, 302–304

where I am now, 305–316

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151014903
Subtitle:
Putting My Father's Death in Order
Author:
Wickersham, Joan
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Suicide
Subject:
Death, Grief, Bereavement
Subject:
Parenting - Parent & Adult Child
Subject:
Parent & Adult Child
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
BIO026000
Subject:
Adult children -- Psychology.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090623
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Family Issues
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Grief
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs

The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order Used Hardcover
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Harcourt - English 9780151014903 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[G]ems of true insight and lovely prose....[B]eautifully written and haunts the reader long after it's closed. Recommended."
"Review" by , "In this harrowing, beautifully written memoir, Joan Wickersham tries to understand the forces that drove her father to take his own life. Part detective story, part anguished examination of a family, she traces the myriad repercussions suicide has not only on the future but also on the past. And she has created the perfect form in which to stage her inquiry. A powerful, important book."
"Synopsis" by , Sixteen years ago, Wickersham's father's suicide made a mystery of his entire life. Using an index — that most formal and orderly of structures — the author explores this chaotic and incomprehensible reality.
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