The Last Goodbyes
CHRISTOPHER BUCKLE Y COPES WI TH THE LOSS OF BOTH PARENTS
MR. RIGH T Buckley at home with his dad in 1956.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
“I loved it because
it was not only
about people, but
you really got
insight into dogs—
and I love dogs.”
Q: You’d resolved not to write about the deaths of your
parents [conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. and
socialite Patricia Taylor Buckley, who died within a year of each other], but
then you wrote LosingMumandPup:AMemoir(Twelve). What happened?
A: It wasn’t planned at all. I just sat down and started writing. It sounds trite to
say, but there are books you want to write and others I guess you have to write.
This book fell into the latter category. It poured out of me.
Q: Did writing it help with your grief
A: There is an inherently healing aspect to writing a book like this. It was also
a way of spending extra time with my parents.
Q: You found a way to write about death that isn’t depressing.
A: Like finding out it costs $7,000 for cremation services? I didn’t immediately
think of parody, but flashing back on it, I found the humor. When your parents
die, you move closer to the river Styx, so my original title for the book was
You’re Next. Then I realized it’s kind of frightening.
Q: It’s been said that the relationship with one’s parents doesn’t end with
their loss, but it does change.
A: It never goes away, and they never go away. Your parents are your ultimate
protectors, and no matter what difficulties you’re having with them when
they’re alive, you can always pick up the phone and hear their voices. They
provide a certain level of comfort—just knowing they’re there. They’re like fire
extinguishers mounted on the wall behind glass. You know if it really comes to
it, you can break the glass. And now they’re gone. —Diane Brown
Fifty Is the New Fifty: Ten
Life Lessons for Women
in Second Adulthood
BY SUZANNE BRAUN LEVINE
(VIKING). Based on conversations across the country,
the former Ms. editor has some refreshing news: most women over 50 enjoy
being their age and don’t think they
need face-lifts or Botox.
Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey
Into a Family Secret BY
STEVE LUXENBERG (HYPE-
RION). A cryptic revelation
by his ailing mother moti-
vated Luxenberg to dig into
his family history. His search for truth
uncovers painful secrets about an aunt
he never knew he had.
Seeking Peace: Chronicles
of the Worst Buddhist in
the World B Y MARY PIPHER
(RIVERHEAD). The renowned
psychotherapist’s 1994 book,
Reviving Ophelia, brought
her acclaim but also new demands that
led to an emotional meltdown. How she
found strength and calm will inspire
anyone who feels overwhelmed in these
Once They Hear My Name:
Korean Adoptees and
Their Journeys Toward
Identity BY ELLEN LEE,
MARILYN LAMMER T, AND
MARY ANNE HESS (TAMARISK).
Nine Korean American adults offer fresh
insights into transracial adoption by
reflecting on the acceptance and rejection they met with while growing up.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY; ILLUSTRATION BY ZACH TRENHOLM
In My Favorite Place
on Earth: Celebrated
People Share Their Travel
Discoveries by Jerry Camarillo Dunn
(National Geographic), 75 contributors
describe the spots they love most. For
singer James Taylor it’s the ocean. And
former Supreme Court justice Sandra
Day O’Connor so loves a mountain in
Arizona that she visualized it, as a way
to help her heal from breast cancer. ;