A touching tribute to a beloved husband and a shared literary life.
Dorothy Gallagher tells us beautifully the things worth knowing. This book breaks my heart.
The "you" Dorothy Gallagher addresses in her exquisitely made new book is her late husband; the stories she tells him—moments recalled from their time together, lapidary dispatches from her years since his death—provide us the rarest of opportunities: hearing the very breath of others. This is not a chronicle of grief—it’s a distillate of life itself.
With the deliciously crisp lack of sentimentality that has characterized both her style and her stance from the start, Dorothy Gallagher turns to a subject that would be perilous for most writers but which here gives even greater scope for her striking gifts: bereavement. These diamond-hard essays, each devoted to "things"—not lofty things, just things: clothes, pigeons, typewriters, friendships found and lost, sofas, the medical apparatus that inevitably became part of her and her late husband’s life—evoke the writer’s grief, and hence her marriage, with remarkable power.
Gallagher knows how to do more with less, her phrases laced with humor and just the merest hint of sentiment. . . . In Stories, it is the past that cuts in on the present, waltzing the narrative away into scenes long gone, rooms long left, conversations begun and ended many years ago. . . . Stories is less about grief than it is an enactment of grief, particularly of the habit formed in death’s aftermath of speaking to someone who is not there.
—Mairead Small Stead, LA Review of Books
Stories I Forgot to Tell You . . . is not only a charming journey through grief, but an indispensable primer on how to work your way through it. . . . As Gallagher wanders through all sorts of memories while trying to recover from his sudden death, she paints a wonderfully vivid picture of her life with him then, and now, alone. Its very randomness is like a long conversation that has the ring of truth. If you have lost a loved one, as I did two years ago, this book will bring comfort and perspective, and a hopeful kind of peace.
—Roberta Silman, The Arts Fuse
A collection of pieces written to her late husband. . . [Stories I Forgot to Tell You] beautifully captures. . . the stories, the objects, the idiosyncrasies. . . that live in the private world between two people. She writes so movingly of all those things that would be lost. The things we ought to tell our loved ones. . . . A wondrous and fantastic book.
—Gil Roth, The Virtual Memories Show