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Missing Alice
In Search of a Mother’s Voice

Susan Letzler Cole

Cloth $22.95    |    978-0-8156-0864-6    |    2007

A strikingly original memoir of loss, grief, and mourning exploring the ties that bind mothers and daughters in life, facing death, and during bereavement.

Author Susan Letzler Cole lost her mother, Alice, to cancer in 1990. In this "autobiography of two voices," she traces a daughter’s search to recover the "missing parts" of a mother, to know her as an individual for the first time. Shunning linear narrative, Cole experiments with a variety of approaches:

  • letters written to her mother three years after Alice died at the age of 78;

  • oral history via taped conversations between mother and daughter during Alice’s illness;

  • excerpts from her 14-year-old mother’s 1926 diary juxtaposed with the author’s ex post facto letters to the adolescent diarist.

Finally, Cole’s own diary entries contemplate vital themes of family, love, and time. At once innovative and heartfelt, Missing Alice seeks to make heard one of those "lost" women’s voices that speak from and help create the world that we know. It is a fine choice for classes in biography, autobiography, and women’s writing, as well as American Jewish and immigrant experience, oral history/memoir, and grief therapy.

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Susan Letzler Cole is professor of English and director of the Concentration in Creative Writing at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Conn. She is the author of The Absent One, Directors in Rehearsal: A Hidden World, and Playwrights in Rehearsal: The Seduction of Company.

5 1/2 x 8, 160 pages, 19 black-and-white illustrations, notes

Missing Alice

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