Media Center: ‘Stations of the Heart’ by Richard Lischer
WHO: Richard Lischer
WHAT: STATIONS OF THE HEART: Parting with a Son
WHEN: Published by Knopf April 2, 2013
WHERE: The author lives in North Carolina and teaches at Duke.
WHY: “A tender, searching resigned memoir and tribute.
“On April 13, 2005, Richard Lischer, who teaches at Duke Divinity School, received a call from his son, Adam, that no parent ever wants to receive. Adam, a gifted and loving young lawyer whose wife, Jenny, was expecting her child three months later, tells his father that the cancer they all thought was gone had returned and that it now lived in many of his body’s organs. Initially, Lischer is speechless, but his stunned silence soon turns to rage as he wails that his son’s death is a robbery…
“Lischer relives the final three-month journey that he, his wife, and Jenny traveled with Adam, recalling with grace and humor memories of Adam in his elementary school days, his college days, and his quest to change the world around as a modern-day Atticus Finch in his law career. After Adam’s death, Lischer observes that ‘grief is a series of caves—dark, multiple, and unfathomed. You do not explore them. You fall into them…Your world is not as large as it used to be, for a ceiling has been imposed on happiness and the floor occasionally trembles beneath your feet.’ Walking this journey over again seven years later, Lischer declares that it took him from ‘the bitter gall of losing Adam to something like settled sorrow,’ and where he can now say, ‘He was my son. I give thanks for him.’” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Adam said he’d had a charmed life, and part of what is impressive about his questioning father’s chastely worded, clear-eyed account is that we come to appreciate that.”
—Ray Olson, BOOKLIST
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