All Gone: All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. With Refreshments

Product Details
Penguin Adult Hc/Tr
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author
Alex Witchel is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and originated 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 with her husband, Frank Rich.
"Haunting, unflinching and at times unexpectedly hilarious... Witchel offers up a fiercely honest account of how her adored mother slowly began 'disappearing in plain sight'... A book that may make you cry (I did), but through some mysterious alchemy it will also leave you with many positive feelings. It will make you smile and even laugh out loud... A powerful affirmation of family bonds, of the soul-sustaining love--and special dishes shared in beloved company--that persist from generation to generation." -The New York Times Book Review

"In this warm memoir, Witchel recounts her mother's mental decline and the solace she derived from preparing family recipes. I related to the author's desire to hold fast to her mother. My mom embodies so much: family, traditions, home. I worry about how I'll cope when she passes away someday. This book was a comfort, reminding me that nothing can ever rob me of her love." -Real Simple

"[Witchel's] recipes are simple family classics. With their invocations of old-time staples like Del Monte tomato sauce and Lawry's seasoned salt, they're humble reminders of the many small acts of care that hold a family together. On the page, they stand as incantations." -The Daily Beast

"Witchel writes beautifully from the heart, but with a journalist's clarity... [She] reminds readers that family relationships are precious and time is fleeting." -San Francisco Chronicle

"As Ms. Witchel wisecracks, 'In our house, it was always the old days.' All Gone... pay[s] homage to those days. As do the clever comebacks Ms. Witchel scatters throughout... Still, she gives the best lines to her mother, [who, ] even as she free falls... delivers good dialogue." -Rachel Shteir, The New York Times

"Bittersweet, with levity." -Good Housekeeping

"Moving." -People

"A short, lovely memoir, moving in its description of grief and loss, the painfully slow loss, of a beloved parent, never self-indulgent and with enough bright spots to balance the blackness... And there is a moment at the end... that brought me to a full-on weep." -Michael Ruhlman

"Food... comes from a different quadrant of [Witchel's] universe, a space where she can hold a sort of mental conversation with a beloved parent no longer able to converse. And what a parent! ...My mother, like Alex's, cooked the day's meals not for pleasure or adventure but as an unromantic responsibility that maintained stable, loving order in our small bit of the cosmos. I read "All Gone" marveling that I could ever have looked down on, rather than up to, such an achievement. It's an honor to meet Barbara Witchel as she was before her mind was ravaged, and celebrate the kind of cooking she stands for." -Anne Mendelson,

"A moving tribute... that reminds those whose child-parent relationship has flipped that they are not alone."

"Funny and poignant... a complex mother-daughter love story." -Maclean's

"A testament to love, tenacity and the power of home cooking" -MORE Magazine

"In this recipie-dotted memoir, Alex Witchel finds solace among the saucepans as her beloved mother slips away... [Includes] witty culinary asides and nuggets of maternal wisdom." -Whole Living

"Warm and always humane, Witchel's narrative is a poignant, candid reminder of the new normal that now defines so many adult child-aging parent relationships." -Kirkus

"I cannot get over how good Alex Witchel's writing is. I wish I could park my desk next to hers and learn how to write sentences even half as efficient and muscular and poignant. No one is smarter, funnier, or more graceful. And there's no one whose kitchen I'd rather be invited into." -Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones and Butter

"Alex Witchel takes us on an extraordinary journey of the mind and heart as a vibrant parent fades into dementia. She shows us that despite profound loss, we can nourish ourselves with memories that sustain love and give comfort. This book of sharp honesty and deep insight illuminates a time in life when so many of us seek understanding." -Jerome Groopman, author of How Doctors Think and The Anatomy of Hope

"Alex Witchel is a heroic and funny war correspondent who explains, once and for all, why it's called the nuclear family." -Fran Lebowitz

"This is a story of love and loss told as only Alex Witchel can tell it--with the extraordinary warmth and humor she brings to all of her work. I loved reading it!" -Ina Garten