New nonfiction from award winning author Genanne Walsh.
By turns blunt, lyrical, grief-struck, and humorous, EGGS IN PURGATORY details the work of caregiving and the complex dance between a daughter and her obstinate, charming, unreliable parent. When her 89-year-old father decides it’s time to die, Genanne Walsh struggles to support him through a journey that’s fraught and beautiful, mundane and mysterious. A bracing, intimate essay that transcends the personal to offer universal truths.
“With beautiful prose and deep thought, Genanne Walsh shatters the taboo around talking about death and grief. Eggs in Purgatory is that rare thing: an honest and gritty accounting of losing a parent, the messy tangle of duty, dread, exhaustion, and grace, with love shining through it all.”
— Lucy Jane Bledsoe, author of Tell the Rest
“This is a stunning account, delivered with what appears perfect calm: A woman travels to the edge—of her wits, her love, her understanding of life and death and memory —caring for her ailing, obstinate, charming, Don Quixote-like father. Walsh's chronicle bursts with riches, a generous, profound, complex consideration of what we may or may not owe declining parents, and what their struggle may or may not teach us. The grit of the daily confronts the starry infinite here: a gripping journey and searching tribute, by turns tender and soul-scorching. Every moment of Eggs in Purgatory is beautifully written—and unforgettable.” — Joan Frank, author of Late Work
“Reading Genanne Walsh’s Eggs in Purgatory is like listening to the wisest friend you have talk to you about death and dying from inside a confessional booth of her own making. In this long-form essay, Walsh narrates the final weeks of the life of her father, an ex-priest and unrepentant bon vivant, as he facilitates his own death. The storytelling is beautiful and fraught, intimate and gut-wrenching. Eggs in Purgatory is a must-read for anyone who has struggled with a parent’s death or to make sense of a parent’s life. Simply put, it is for all of us.” — Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade & The Bigness of the World
Literary Nonfiction. Essays.
Genanne Walsh is the author of TWISTER, awarded the Big Moose Prize for the Novel from Black Lawrence Press. Her work has appeared in Puerto del Sol, Blackbird, and elsewhere, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. After thirty years in San Francisco she recently moved to Portland, Maine with her wife and dog. She's at work on a new novel.