By Elizabeth McCracken
From Publishers Weekly Starred evaluate. McCracken tells her personal tale during this touching and infrequently without warning humorous memoir approximately her existence earlier than and after wasting her first baby within the 9th month of being pregnant. As tough because it should have been to learn aloud, McCrackens supply is brave and not self-pitying. McCracken is forthright in regards to the tragedy, telling the listener early on child dies during this ebook, yet that one other one is born. McCrackens studying is mesmerizing and deeply relocating, as though she is touching on this intimate trip on to each one listener separately from a gloomy, candle-lit room, in an unforgettable functionality. *A Little, Brown hardcover (reviewed online). (Sept.)* Copyright © Reed enterprise details, a department of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Bookmarks journal In Elizabeth McCracken’s heartrending memoir—a love letter to the kid she misplaced and the committed husband who suffered along her—McCracken screens her many abilities. Her heat, candor, crystalline prose, beautiful imagery, and a focus to element convey her painful tale to existence. McCracken’s darkish humorousness ensnares unwitting readers, belying the unhappiness with which she writes, and she or he indicates little or no persistence for self-pity and sentimentality. Critics praised her clear-eyed account in a style replete with syrupy, self-aggrandizing books, notwithstanding a few expressed doubts that its subject material may have broad allure. “I’m now not prepared for my first baby to vanish into history,” explains McCracken. With this heartbreaking account of his existence, there’s little likelihood of that. Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
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Extra resources for An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination
We vowed to try as soon as possible. “But not in August,” I said after a while. August was when Pudding was conceived. August meant an April or May baby. That seemed like too much. And then we left France, and I decided to be practical about everything. I was thirty-nine, I wasn’t going to toss away a whole month like that. Anyhow, what were the chances? How could we count on anything? So I couldn’t say, We will have another child. ” It was bad enough grieving for this child, my Pudding, without lamenting other only theoretical children.
At some point I imagined a kind of time — I don’t know whether I got this idea from science or science fiction, not being much interested in either — that split into two or more directions when the baby died: on one track he lived and we took him home and somewhere in the universe at this moment we have a one-year-old baby and a newborn and are ignorant, exhausted, cheery (or maybe only the first two); on the other track, the one I accidentally took, he died, and we left France. But time changed backwards, too, and now, no matter what, every single day of my first pregnancy, when I was laughing till I was paralytic at my own jokes about what to name the baby, when I was addressing fond monologues to my stomach as I drove a horrific old Ford Escort through the French countryside, he was already dead, and France was already culpable, and our hearts were already broken.
I missed him like a person. Seeing babies on the street did not stab me with pain the way I know they stab some grieving women, those who have lost children or simply desperately want to have them. For me, other babies were other babies. They weren’t who I was missing. Every now and then a baby could take me by surprise and make me weep — for instance, an e-mailed photo of my cousin Rosalie’s son, who (I realized as I stared at it, and closed the file, and opened it up again) looked like I’d imagined Pudding, though as it happened we shared none of the same blood.