Full Moon at Noontide

Full Moon at Noontide

A Daughter's Last Goodbye
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2015
280 pages, 1 photo, 6 x 9 inches
Paper: 
$19.95
9781609383176
eBook, perpetual ownership: 
$19.95
9781609383183

“Old age, death, and impermanence—it seems at first glance impossible to make a reader see these timeless and universal experiences with fresh eyes, but Ann Putnam’s luminous prose achieves that miracle and more, transforming pain, suffering, and loss into a literary gift of beauty and redemption.”—Charles Johnson, author, Middle Passage, winner of the 1990 National Book Award 

“Unflinching in its look at the truths we may prefer to ignore—the passing of time, the breakdown of the body, the complicated give and take between parent and child, the fact that we are all on the inexorable march toward the end—this is a hard book because Ann Putnam has the courage to tell us the truth about aging and dying. But it’s a gorgeous book, too, one born from the endurance of the human spirit and the capacity to love.”—Lee Martin, author, River of Heaven 

 “This memoir is heart-rending and heart-warming, as Ann Putnam describes the deaths of her beloved father and his identical twin, her much-loved uncle. Putnam translates these losses into an inspiring and poignant family story that is also the tale of every family facing the inevitable.”—Nina Baym, editor, The Norton Anthology of American Literature

“Anyone can suffer; only an artist can turn suffering into something beautiful and universal. If there’s a survivor’s guide to easing the transitions necessary with aging parents, this is it.” —Ladette Randolph, editor-in-chief, Ploughshares

“Ann Putnam has given us a story of love and loss and survival that moves and instructs. She charts the decline of her beloved father, his eccentric twin brother, and her elegant and stoic mother with the caring attention of a novelist. This is truly a work of love and devotion, a gift.”—Annick Smith, author, In This We Are Native: Memoirs and Journeys and co-producer, A River Runs Through It  

“Putnam transforms the quotidian into meaning while she pushes a wheelchair, walks beside a gurney, and sits on the edge of a hospital bed. She describes the shrinking compass of her uncle’s and parents’ lives with empathy and understanding. Putnam’s is an honest chronicle of watching one’s kin grow old.”—Sarah Sloane, author, The I Ching for Writers

Full Moon at Noontide is at once familiar and startlingly new: All of our parents and loved ones will move from a well-lit present to an unfathomable future, but through this powerful memoir we can see the love—and anger, humor, and disbelief—that those lives have left for us.”—Judy Doenges, author, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World

“Ann Putnam’s story should be helpful to many people trying to care for elderly, ill loved ones. This is not a how-to handbook, but rather a model of making meaning, a narrative of love—of piecing together scraps of lives, artifacts, photographs, memories, letters.”—Carol Donley, co-editor, Doctors and Their Stories

“Ann Putnam creates a luminosity that shines forth to hold both those who are dying and those who accompany them. I felt a palpable sense of the sacred so deeply moved by the author’s openness to loss and our shared being that at moments I feared her/our boat might finally capsize; and then, as the warm, steady awareness kept taking in, I was reminded of just how large we all are, of our infinite being.”—Sandy Prescott, Evergreen Hospice, Seattle, Washington

Full Moon at Noontide is the story of Ann Putnam’s mother and father and her father’s identical twin, and how they lived together with their courage and their stumblings, as they made their way into old age and then into death. It’s the story of the journey from one twin’s death to the other, of what happened along the way, of what it means to lose the other who is also oneself. And it’s the story of how Ann Putnam herself struggled to save them and could not, and how she dealt with the weight of guilt, of worrying that she had not done enough, said enough, stayed long enough for them all. How she learned that through this long journey all that was really needed was love.

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