Meghan O'Rourke was thirty-two when her mother died of cancer on Christmas Day, 2008. As a writer, even in the depths of her grief, she was fascinated by what she observed of herself in the aftermath: the rage she felt, not only at what had happened to her mother, but also at the inability of people to acknowledge her pain; her sense that the meaning of her life had changed fundamentally with the loss of a parent; the way that the reassuringly familiar often became somehow completely new and strange. The Long Goodbye interleaves personal recollections of her much-loved mother with an examination of what it means to grieve in a society which no longer has the rituals - or even, most of the time, the desire - to engage with grief, to understand it, and to let it do both its worst - and its best.
Meghan O'Rourke was born in 1976 and lives in New York with her husband. She is a frequent contributor to Slate, a founding editor of Double X, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. She has published one volume of poetry.