Wong's memoir takes us on a scavenger hunt through her own intersectionality by chronicling her family and upbringing. Her primary questions include: What makes identity--and what is her identity? What is family? And, most importantly, who decides all of the above? In the end, the treasure here is her courage in sharing her story.
The Mexican writer follows her acclaimed English-language debut, On Lighthouses, with a long essay on pregnancy. This important work of testimony deftly blends powerful cultural criticism--tracing the roles of pregnancy in the history of humanity--with the even more striking details of Barrera's own experience carrying a child, giving birth, and beginning to raise a son. Told in fragmentary paragraphs, this vivid work of history, imagination, and memoir evokes the full range of joys and anxieties related to motherhood.
When it became clear that Bloom’s husband had Alzheimer’s and not just a case of Mild Cognitive Impairment, he insisted that he’d “rather die on my feet than live on my knees, “and it became Bloom’s job “to figure out how.” Her powerful, clear-eyed, and often remarkably funny memoir reports the inexorable stages of this terrifying disease and the attendant magical thinking, along with the couple’s somewhat race-the-clock efforts to let Brian exit while still the “loving, goofy, candy-sharing, soft-touch Babu” they wanted the grandchildren to remember. Bloom quickly exhausted the possibilities of U.S. right-to-die laws, frustrated at the deliberately narrow provisions of physician-assisted suicide, which didn’t match their goals at all. A better fit was with the Swiss organization, Dignitas, which offers “accompanied suicide” for those wishing to escape old age, or terminal illness, or some unbearable pain or disability. Since 1988 it has helped more than 3,000 end their lives as they wished. In what is at once a victory and a loss, Bloom’s husband met the stringent requirements—“sad…kinda angry...but not afraid.”