This month's selection of the Mortality Book Club--Karen Green's book Bough Down--is both an evocation of her love for her husband David Foster Wallace and an act of defiance in the face of devastating loss. With fearlessness and grace, Bough Down reports from deep inside the maelstrom of grief, charting her passage through the devastation of her husband's suicide. Tiny visual collages punctuate the text, each made of salvaged language and scraps of the material world--pages torn from books, bits of paper refuse, drawings and photographs, old postage stamps and the albums which classify them. Each collage--and the creative act of making it--evinces the reassembling of life.
Our Mortality Book Club reads and discusses books having to do with the important--but frequently avoided---issues we confront at the end of our lives. Regular book club members include hospital and hospice workers, but also the adult children of aging parents, or just anyone who wonders about the many questions--medical, emotional, social, and philosophical--raised by human mortality. The book club facilitator is Jasmin Tomlins, herself in training as a death doula.