My Mother's Ghost by Fergus M. Bordewich

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Synopsis

A luminous memoir of how the author's involvement in his mother's accidental death reshaped the emotional landscape of his childhood and adult life.
In 1962, at the age of fourteen, Fergus Bordewich's life was shattered as his mother attempted to jump off a runaway horse and fell calamitously under the galloping hooves of the horse Fergus was riding. Crouching beside her in a gathering pool of blood, he convinced himself that she would be fine. But an hour later, in the hospital waiting room, he and his father listened in shock as the doctor told them that she had been dead on arrival. At that moment, he thought to himself, I've killed my mother.

So begins My Mother's Ghost, veteran reporter Fergus Bordewich's anguished attempt to come to terms with the emotional chaos his life was thrown into with his mother's death. For all practical purposes, Fergus's childhood was over. His mother, a fierce, fireball of a woman, had been the dominant figure not just in his family, but, as the executive director of the Association on American Indian Affairs, a galvanizing force in national politics behind Native American activism and tribal rights. She was a woman who traveled the country meeting with tribal chiefs and regularly dined with senators and congressmen. And Fergus had been the son she doted on. In the aftermath of her death, his father slipped further into alcoholism and silence. In the decade that followed, Fergus would follow his father into a life of despair and drink. By the age of twenty-seven, he was close to suicide.

A devastating and beautifully written account of Bordewich's attempt to make peace with his mother's death and rediscover her place in his heart, My Mother's Ghost is a poignant and heartrending memoir that, like Angela's Ashes, is neither easily put down nor readily forgotten.
 

About Fergus M. Bordewich

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FERGUS M. BORDEWICH is the author of the critically acclaimed books Killing the White Man's Indian and Cathay: A Journey in Search of Old China, and was the general editor of Children of the Dragon, an anthology of eyewitness accounts of the Tiananmen Square massacre. His articles have appeared in many national publications, including American Heritage, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, and others. He lives with his family in New York's Hudson Valley.
 
Published December 26, 2000 by Doubleday. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Raised in comfortable surroundings, LaVerne Madigan Bordewich worked as an advocate for American Indian rights long before such work earned one social points.

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Publishers Weekly

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The core of his account is more biography than memoir, as professional journalist Bordewich delves into his mother's world, ferreting through dusty boxes and yellowed library archives, interviewing octogenarians who remembered his mother from New York University, the Association on American India...

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