Waiting Room: A Memoir

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Scribe Publications, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 215 pages

'A moving tribute to a mother's life, one of loss and disappointment, sacrifice and silence . . . but also one of immense dignity and resilience.'
DEBRA ADELAIDE, author of The Household Guide to Dying

When Gabrielle Carey's mother, who is usually pedantically punctual and organised, begins to forget basic things like where she put her dentures, Gabrielle knows that something is wrong. Scans reveal a brain tumour, and doctors advise its urgent removal. But there is another urgency at hand. Biding the dreadful passing of time in doctors' waiting rooms, Gabrielle begins to realise how much her mother has left untold, how many questions she still wants to ask her, and how little time there is left for answers.

Amid organising appointments, looking after her own children, and battling her mother's stubbornly principled idea that she should be left to die, Gabrielle begins to voice the unasked - to attempt to discover the mother whom she has lived with all her life, but never truly known.

In this sharp and honest memoir, we see what it is that families, in all their complex dynamics, can give to each other, and just what they stand to gain when they lay down their arms and let each other in.

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User Review  - novanews - LibraryThing

2* A journalist, Carey documents her mother's demise from a benign brain tumour which severely affects her short term memory. Expressing much regret ranging from not 'knowing' her mother or her mother ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

Gabrielle Carey teaches writing at the University of Technology in Sydney. She is the author of The Borrowed Girl, In My Father's House, The Penguin Book of Death, Puberty Blues, and So Many Selves.

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