An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir by Elizabeth McCracken

By Elizabeth McCracken

"This is the happiest tale on the earth with the saddest ending," writes Elizabeth McCracken in her strong, inspiring memoir. A prize-winning, profitable novelist in her 30s, McCracken used to be satisfied to be an itinerant author and self-proclaimed spinster. yet unexpectedly she fell in love, received married, and years in the past was once dwelling in a distant a part of France, engaged on her novel, and anticipating the start of her first child.This booklet is set what occurred subsequent. In her 9th month of being pregnant, she realized that her child boy had died. How do you take care of and get over this sort of loss? in fact you don't--but you move on. And in case you have ever skilled loss or love somebody who has, the corporate of this impressive ebook may also help you pass on.With humor and heat and unfailing generosity, McCracken considers the character of affection and grief. She opens her middle and leaves all of ours the richer for it.

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Here’s what else we didn’t do when I was pregnant the second time. Knock wood. Light candles. Tell ninety percent of the people we knew that I was pregnant. Have an amniocentesis. Pick up pennies. Wish on: stars, white horses, alarm clocks reading 11:11, wishbones, blown dandelion fluff. Buy baby clothes. Pick names. Find out the baby’s gender. ” Begin sentences, “After the baby’s born . ” Toss spilled salt over left shoulders. Give a fuck about the number thirteen no matter where it showed up.

And yet here I am, writing a book as a love letter to Edward and trying to explain — well, every time I try to get further than this into a sentence about Edward, I end up flummoxed: he was so loving and grief-stricken and so careful to set aside his pain to take care of me, and everything I write seems inadequate and sickeningly sweet. Even that last sentence feels inadequate and sickeningly sweet. We went through everything together, and writing we feels presumptuous, because he can speak for himself, and writing I feels presumptuous, because the calamity happened to both of us, was just as awful for both of us.

I didn’t tell anyone except Edward and my friend Ann, because, of course: bad luck. My great-grandfather believed in the evil eye. When registering his eleven children at school (according to his daughter, my grandmother), he would never say how many there were. When you got cocky and kept count, the evil eye could snatch away a child. This was the same reason we never decided for sure on a name, the same reason Edward and I never, not once, talked about our future with our baby without looking for a piece of wood to touch.

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