This is an account of the final moments of our lives - the room, the bed, the companions, the last faces we see, the last voices we hear, our last thoughts. For more than a year, Tracy Kidder spent most of his time at Linda Manor, a nursing home, befriending, eating with, being entertained by 121 different people, each living out life's closing ...
This is an account of the final moments of our lives - the room, the bed, the companions, the last faces we see, the last voices we hear, our last thoughts. For more than a year, Tracy Kidder spent most of his time at Linda Manor, a nursing home, befriending, eating with, being entertained by 121 different people, each living out life's closing stages. What did he discover? 121 individuals - actors, cranks, charmers, comedians, optimists, fatalists. He discovered who the Nudniks were, what it is to Stupidivise and the function of the Vampire Lady. And, most importantly, he discovered Lou, a gracious 90-year-old from the back streets of Philadelphia, a man who worked his way from floor-sweeper to factory manager, and Joe, an irascible 72, with a BA, an MA and a law degree, whose successful career was ended by a stroke. Through the friendship between Lou and Joe, two strangers who find themselves sharing their final days, Tracy Kidder uncovers not only two very different lives, but two stories that are part of the story that belongs to us all. This is an account of the place where life and death coexist. Tracy Kidder is the author of the Pulitzer Prize winner "The Soul of a New Machine", "House" and "Among Schoolchildren".
Publishers Weekly, 1993-07-26 Kidder, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Soul of a New Machine , spent a year observing the residents of Linda Manor, a 121-bed nursing home in Northampton, Mass. He offers respectful, moving portraits of elderly people confronting their decaying minds and bodies and imminent deaths as they go about their daily routines in a facility that for most of them will be, as Kidder notes, ``their last place on earth.'' Obese Winifred sobs because she has to be lifted mechanically from her bed; Earl, struggling with a half-dead heart, begs his wife to take him home; Eleanor directs her friends in a minstrel show; and Dan, who at 65 is one of the youngest residents, spends much of his day sucking oxygen from a tube and telephoning his senator's office to complain about his breakfast eggs. Among the addled residents are able-bodied Zita, who obsessively paces the hallways and tries to pick flowers depicted in the carpet's design. Kidder spotlights the friendship that blooms between Joe, an irascible 72-year-old stroke victim, and gentle Lou, 90 and almost blind, who grieves for his deceased wife, tells rambling stories about his past and worries about Joe. BOMC selection; author tour. (Sept.)
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