* INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *
“Stunning…heartrending…this year’s When Breath Becomes Air.” —Nora Krug, The Washington Post
“Beautiful and haunting.” —Matt McCarthy, MD, USA TODAY
“Deeply affecting…simultaneously heartbreaking and funny.” —People (Book of the Week)
“Vivid, immediate.” —Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe
Starred reviews from * Kirkus Reviews * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal *
Best Books of 2017 Selection by * The Washington Post *
Most Anticipated Summer Reading Selection by * The Washington Post * Entertainment Weekly * Glamour * The Seattle Times * Vulture * InStyle * Bookpage * Bookriot * Real Simple * The Atlanta Journal-Constitution *
The New York Times bestseller by poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, is “a stunning…heart-rending meditation on life…It is this year’s When Breath Becomes Air” (The Washington Post).
We are breathless but we love the days. They are promises. They are the only way to walk from one night to the other.
Poet and essayist Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer—one small spot. Within a year, she received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal.
How does a dying person learn to live each day “unattached to outcome”? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty? How does a young mother and wife prepare her two young children and adored husband for a loss that will shape the rest of their lives? How do we want to be remembered?
Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, Nina asks: What makes a meaningful life when one has limited time? “Profound and poignant” (O, The Oprah Magazine), The Bright Hour is about how to make the most of all the days, even the painful ones. It’s about the way literature, especially Nina’s direct ancestor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and her other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer.
Brilliantly written and exceptionally moving, it’s a “deeply affecting memoir, a simultaneously heartbreaking and funny account of living with loss and the specter of death. As Riggs lyrically, unflinchingly details her reality, she finds beauty and truth that comfort even amid the crushing sadness” (People, Book of the Week).
Tender and heartwarming, The Bright Hour “is a gentle reminder to cherish each day” (Entertainment Weekly, Best New Books) and offers us this important perspective: “You can read a multitude books about how to die, but Riggs, a dying woman, will show you how to live” (The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Nina Riggs’ memoir is a heartbreaking and joyful valentine about living with a terminal diagnosis. The Bright Hour follows Riggs—a poet, wife, and mother to two young children—as she fights metastatic breast cancer. Riggs skips saccharine clichés and self-pity, writing with clear eyes about a life overtaken by radioactive isotope injections and IV drips. And yet, she writes, “the beautiful, vibrant, living world goes on.” This lyrical and affecting tribute to love is a powerful companion to Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air.
Wow. Fierce and heartbreaking.
I read it in two days and cried for a while after. I felt like I opened the book and slipped into an alternate universe, lived Nina’s life, and then slipped back into mine. I am holding and loving my boys a little tighter and thinking about the impossibility of saying goodbye to a life you aren’t yet done with. Impossible and beautiful. Well done.
Much more than a memoir. This book is window into life and our imaginations of what the afterlife holds. It is not sentimental but heartfelt and heartbreaking at the same time.
Wonderful rich story about life and death
This book was a treasure to read. Nina was a funny, intelligent and brave woman. She did a beautiful job of sharing her journey with all of us who are lucky enough to have read this lovely memoir. We will all face our mortality some day. She shows how important it is to face each day with love, determination and a sense of humor.