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

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9780156033800: The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order
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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.

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"Wickersham [has a] gift for making her memories sing as though they were our own." -- Elle  One winter morning in 1991, Joan Wickersham’s father shot himself in the head.The father she loved would never have killed himself. His death made a mystery of his entire life. Who was he? Why did he do it? And what was the impact of his death on the people who loved him? Using an index?that most formal and orderly of structures?Wickersham explores this chaotic and incomprehensible reality. Every bit of family history, every encounter with friends, doctors, and other survivors, exposes another facet of elusive truth. Dark, funny, sad, and gripping, at once a philosophical and a deeply personal exploration, The Suicide Index is, finally, a daughter’s anguished, loving elegy to her father.

"[A]n extraordinary, magical mystery tour of a book." --Los Angeles Times

"Honest, brave, incredibly moving, and completely unflinching in its honesty. It's one of those rare books that will haunt you for a long time after you finish it." --Nancy Pearl, Morning Edition, National Public Radio JOAN WICKERSHAM is the author of the novel The Paper Anniversary. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories. An excerpt from The Suicide Index earned her the 2007 Ploughshares Cohen Award for Best Short Story. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About the Author:

Joan Wickersham is the author of four books, including The Suicide Index, a National Book Award finalist. Her fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has published essays and reviews in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and the International Herald Tribune, and she has contributed on-air essays to National Public Radio. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo.

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9780151014903: The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order

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ISBN 10:  0151014906 ISBN 13:  9780151014903
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008
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