Missing Persons: A Memoir with Gayle Greene

Missing Persons is a memoir about dealing with death in a culture that gives no help. As the last of her family, Greene’s losses are stark, first her aunt, then her mother, in quick succession. She is as ill-equipped for the challenges of caring for a dying person at home as she is for the other losses, long repressed, that rise to confront her at this time: the suicide of her younger brother, the death of her father. As the professional identity on which she’s based her selfhood comes to feel brittle and trivial, she is catapulted into questions of “who am I?” and “what have I done with my life?”

The memoir is structured as an account of her mother's and aunt’s final days and the year that follows, a year in which she reconstructs her life. This is a powerful story about family, what it means to have one, to lose one, never to have made one, and what, if anything, might take its place. It’s the story of a vexed mother-daughter relationship that mellows with age. It is also a search for home, as the very landscape shifts around her and the vast orchards are dug up and paved over for tract housing, strip malls, freeways, and the Santa Clara Valley, once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight, is transformed to “Silicon.”

Gayle Greene has published a wide range of books including Changing the Story: Feminist Fiction and The Tradition (University of Indiana Press); The Poetics of Change: The Fiction of Doris Lessing (University of Michigan Press); The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation (University of Michigan Press); and Insomniac (University of California Press) which was short listed for the Gregory Bateson Prize in Cultural Anthropology and was Amazon's #1 pick of March 2008.   Her work has appeared in scholarly journals such as SignsContemporary Literature,  Renaissance Drama, and in more popular venues such as Ms. Magazine, The NationLos Angeles Times, New York Times. 
Event date: 
Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
2430 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Missing Persons: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781943859467
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Nevada Press - October 18th, 2017

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