Monday, June 22, 2009

Post-Father's Day Memoir

William F. Buckley, the conservative author and commentator, died just 10 months after his wife Patricia. More than anything, Buckley drew his fame from "Firing Line," the hour-long political talk show where he verbally battled liberals from Noam Chomsky to Gore Vidal. Patricia Buckley was a fundraiser and socialite. Their son Christopher has written a memoir of that difficult year titled Losing Mum and Pup. Both Buckleys had enormous personalities and appetites, which caused them to behave in ways that seem godlike and childlike at the same time. Their son is devoted to their care at the end, but he locked horns with both parents many times. He told his conservative, Catholic father that he was an agnostic and that he had voted for Obama. He would stop speaking to his mother when she told lies that hurt others. This memoir is best read as a wake in words, where his larger-than-life parents are remembered by someone who sincerely loved them, warts and all.

Christopher Buckley is the author of 14 satirical books including
Thank You for Smoking which was made into a movie. His mother was a life-long smoker, so you can see where the inspiration for Thank You for Smoking originated. The memoir, even though it has an awful subject: the terrible, painful deaths, within a year's time, of his parents, can be funny.

Today, all copies are checked out. Place a hold, if you would like to get in line, or read an excerpt from the New York Times’ Magazine.

For more memoirs, please see APL’s Good Reads' Contemporary Memoirs.

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