Book of Dahlia: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Mar 11, 2008 - Fiction - 256 pages
24 Reviews
From the author of the critically acclaimed story collection How This Night Is Different comes a dark, arresting, fearlessly funny story of one young woman's terminal illness. In The Book of Dahlia, Elisa Albert walks a dazzling line between gravitas and irreverence, mining an exhilarating blend of skepticism and curiosity, compassion and candor, high and low culture.

Meet Dahlia Finger: twenty-nine, depressed, whip-smart, occasionally affable, bracingly honest, resolutely single, and perennially unemployed. She spends her days stoned in front of the TV, watching the same movies repeatedly, like "a form of prayer." But Dahlia's so-called life is upended by an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor.

Stunned and uncomprehending, Dahlia must work toward reluctant emotional reckoning with the aid of a questionable self-help guide. She obsessively revisits the myriad heartbreaks, disappointments, rages, and regrets that comprise the story of her life -- from her parents' haphazard Israeli courtship to her kibbutz conception; from the role of beloved daughter and little sister to that of abandoned, suicidal adolescent; from an affluent childhood in Los Angeles to an aimless existence in the gentrified wilds of Brooklyn; from a girl with "options" to a girl with none -- convinced that cancer struck because she herself is somehow at fault.

With her take-no-prisoners perspective, her depressive humor, and her extreme vulnerability, Dahlia Finger is an unforgettable anti-heroine. This staggering portrait of one young woman's life and death confirms Elisa Albert as a "witty, incisive" (Variety) and even "wonder-inducing" writer (Time Out New York).
  

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Review: The Book of Dahlia

User Review  - Pam Gary - Goodreads

I'm a breast cancer patient; and I thank-you for writing an honest story about the emotions of cancer. Elisa Albert has either experienced cancer herself or with someone she is close to, or she did a ... Read full review

Review: The Book of Dahlia

User Review  - Jay Ensley - Goodreads

How did Elisa Albert do it? How did she make the story of the end of a wasted life break my heart? Let me count the ways: First, she establishes an authentic voice. Dahlia becomes the fear most of us ... Read full review

Contents

Something Wrong
1
Understanding Your Diagnosis
11
A Different Kind of Disease
27
The Bright Side
37
Get a Second Opinion
51
Youre the Boss
65
Trust Your Treatment
83
Choose Life
101
Heal Yourself
141
Live
157
Laugh
175
Reframe
193
Be Grateful
209
Have Faith
221
Forgive and Forget
237
Be Well 11 27 37 51 65 83 101 103 123 141 157 175 193 209 221 237
251

Find a Support System
103
Evaluate Your Relationships
123

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About the author (2008)

Elisa Albert is the author of the short story collection How This Night is Different and the novel The Book of Dahlia.  She has taught creative writing at Columbia University and is currently Writer-in-Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Holland.

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