All Gone by Alex Witchel
A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. With Refreshments

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...All Gone, about one of the hottest topics among baby boomers — caring for our aging parents — comes across as boomerish in a bad way: self-absorbed and immature, as if she's the first to suffer this sort of stress and loss.
-NPR

Synopsis

A daughter’s longing love letter to a mother who has slipped beyond reach.
Just past seventy, Alex Witchel’s smart, adoring, ultracapable mother began to exhibit undeniable signs of dementia. Her smart, adoring, ultracapable daughter reacted as she’d been raised: If something was broken, they would fix it. But as medical reality undid that hope, and her mother continued the torturous process of disappearing in plain sight, Witchel retreated to the kitchen, trying to reclaim her mother at the stove by cooking the comforting foods of her childhood: “Is there any contract tighter than a family recipe?” 

Reproducing the perfect meat loaf was no panacea, but it helped Witchel come to terms with her predicament, the growing phenomenon of “ambiguous loss ”— loss of a beloved one who lives on. Gradually she developed a deeper appreciation for all the ways the parent she was losing lived on in her, starting with the daily commandment “Tell me everything that happened today” that started a future reporter and writer on her way. And she was inspired to turn her experience into this frank, bittersweet, and surprisingly funny account that offers true balm for an increasingly familiar form of heartbreak.
 

About Alex Witchel

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ALEX WITCHEL is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and writes the popular “Feed Me” column for the Dining section. The author of three previous books, she has also written for New York, Vogue, Elle, and Ladies' Home Journal, among other publications. She lives in New York.
 
Published September 27, 2012 by Riverhead Books. 225 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for All Gone
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Maggie Scarf on Sep 21 2012

It will make you smile and even laugh out loud. Running throughout its pages is a powerful affirmation of family bonds, of the soul-­sustaining love...

Read Full Review of All Gone: A Memoir of My Moth... | See more reviews from NY Times

NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on Sep 25 2012

...All Gone, about one of the hottest topics among baby boomers — caring for our aging parents — comes across as boomerish in a bad way: self-absorbed and immature, as if she's the first to suffer this sort of stress and loss.

Read Full Review of All Gone: A Memoir of My Moth... | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for All Gone
64%

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