mercypapers“My mother was a civil rights attorney. She wore bright red lipstick and heavy gold necklaces. Her eyes defied regular notions of brown. They were brown spoked with gold light, full of judgment and sarcasm and a deep, harsh pleasure … Now, after she takes the pills, I understand I won’t be able to reach the mom I used to know.”

“The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks” is Robin Romm’s frank and intimate chronicle of death. Written as a private act of grieving in the wake of her mother’s moribund, nine-year struggle with breast cancer, it rails against the slow departure of her mother’s body and mind, using a series of careful vignettes that stand as a passionate objection to the conventional wisdom about grief.

Read more. (From The Oregonian, January 16, 2009.)