An excellent poetwith Halflife and the newly-released Once (W.W. Norton) to her nameMeghan O'Rourke became even more known to readers a year ago with her most extraordinary memoir of her mother's illness and death, The Long Goodbye: A Memoir (new in paper, Penguin). "The Long Goodbye is O'Rourke's anguished, beautifully written chronicle of that passage, from the innocence of a relatively privileged life to the wider and more desolate country that great loss imposes ... O'Rourke captures that emotional violence with elegant candor ... The Long Goodbye is an elegiac depiction of a drama as old as life, wherein the mother's first job is to raise a daughter strong enough to outlast her." – New York Times. "Meghan O'Rourke, a celebrated poet and critic, writes prose as if she was born to it first. Her memoir The Long Goodbye is emotionally acute, strikingly empathetic, thorough and unstinting intellectually, and of course elegantly wrought. But it's above all a useful book, for lifethe good bits and the sad ones, too." – Richard Ford.