Touching Memoir Reflects on the Nature of Human Life
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. Claire and Jim were friends, lovers, and sometimes enemies for 27 years. In order to get health insurance, they finally married, calling their anniversary the “It
Means Absolutely Nothing” day. Then Jim was diagnosed with cancer. With ever-decreasing odds of survival, punctuated by arcs of false hope, Jim's deteriorating health altered their well-established independence as they became caregiver and patient, sharing intimacy as close as their own breaths.
A year and a half into their marriage, Jim died from lung/brain cancer. Sustained by good dogs and gardening through the two years of madness that followed, Claire soldiered through home repairs, career disaster, genealogy quests, and “dating for seniors” trying to build a better life on the debris of her old
one. Leave the Dogs at Home maps and plays with the stages of grief. Delightfully confessional, it challenges persistent, yet outdated, societal norms about relationships, and finds relief in whimsy, pop culture, and renewed spirituality.
“Arbogast delivers a raw and honest narrative of her life as a lover, a widow, and a woman,” writes Library Journal. “The theme of death and life, both literally and figuratively, are navigated with such emotion, it seems natural to empathize with the author in sadness, joy, love, and uncertainty as her longtime companion (later husband) Jim combats cancer. . . An excellent choice for those touched by grief, ready for a change, or just wanting to read a beautifully written memoir.”
Claire Arbogast is a graduate of Indiana University. She gardens, walks with dogs, and writes in Bloomington, Indiana. Her website is www.ClaireArbogast.com.
Book Information—Leave the Dogs at Home: A Memoir
By Claire S. Arbogast 238 pages, 5.25 x 8
Paper ISBN 978-0-253-01719-2 $17.00 eBook ISBN 978-0-253-01721-5 $16.99
Publication Date: August 1, 2015
To order: visit http://iupress.indiana.edu
Podcast with Claire Arbogast
For review copies & interview requests contact: Mandy Hussey, email@example.com, 812-855-4522