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The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
Hachette Audio 2017
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Available from OverDrive
Description

A memoir of friendship and literature chronicling a search for meaning and comfort in great books, and a beautiful path out of grief.
Anne Gisleson had lost her twin sisters, had been forced to flee her home during Hurricane Katrina, and had witnessed cancer take her beloved father. Before she met her husband, Brad, he had suffered his own trauma, losing his partner and the mother of his son to cancer in her young thirties. "How do we keep moving forward," Anne asks, "amid all this loss and threat?" The answer: "We do it together."
Anne and Brad, in the midst of forging their happiness, found that their friends had been suffering their own losses and crises as well: loved ones gone, rocky marriages, tricky child-rearing, jobs lost or gained, financial insecurities or unexpected windfalls. Together these resilient New Orleanians formed what they called the Existential Crisis Reading Group, which they jokingly dubbed "The Futilitarians." From Epicurus to Tolstoy, from Cheever to Amis to Lispector, each month they read and talked about identity, parenting, love, mortality, and life in post-Katrina New Orleans,
In the year after her father's death, these living-room gatherings provided a sustenance Anne craved, fortifying her and helping her blaze a trail out of her well-worn grief. More than that, this fellowship allowed her finally to commune with her sisters on the page, and to tell the story of her family that had remained long untold. Written with wisdom, soul, and a playful sense of humor, The Futilitarians is a guide to living curiously and fully, and a testament to the way that even from the toughest soil of sorrow, beauty and wonder can bloom.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
08/22/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781478990208
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Anne Gisleson. (2017). The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading. Unabridged Hachette Audio.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Anne Gisleson. 2017. The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading. Hachette Audio.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Anne Gisleson, The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading. Hachette Audio, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Anne Gisleson. The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading. Unabridged Hachette Audio, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:04:42
Date Updated:
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A memoir of friendship and literature chronicling a search for meaning and comfort in great books, and a beautiful path out of grief.
Anne Gisleson had lost her twin sisters, had been forced to flee her home during Hurricane Katrina, and had witnessed cancer take her beloved father. Before she met her husband, Brad, he had suffered his own trauma, losing his partner and the mother of his son to cancer in her young thirties. "How do we keep moving forward," Anne asks, "amid all this loss and threat?" The answer: "We do it together."
Anne and Brad, in the midst of forging their happiness, found that their friends had been suffering their own losses and crises as well: loved ones gone, rocky marriages, tricky child-rearing, jobs lost or gained, financial insecurities or unexpected windfalls. Together these resilient New Orleanians formed what they called the Existential Crisis Reading Group, which they jokingly dubbed "The Futilitarians." From Epicurus to Tolstoy, from Cheever to Amis to Lispector, each month they read and talked about identity, parenting, love, mortality, and life in post-Katrina New Orleans,
In the year after her father's death, these living-room gatherings provided a sustenance Anne craved, fortifying her and helping her blaze a trail out of her well-worn grief. More than that, this fellowship allowed her finally to commune with her sisters on the page, and to tell the story of her family that had remained long untold. Written with wisdom, soul, and a playful sense of humor, The Futilitarians is a guide to living curiously and fully, and a testament to the way that even from the toughest soil of sorrow, beauty and wonder can bloom.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 1, 2017
        Giselson’s memoir is a compassionate journey through personal grief, as well as a smart compendium of literature. After the suicides of her twin sisters (Rachel and Rebecca) and the destruction Hurricane Katrina wreaks in her hometown of New Orleans, Giselson and her husband Brad bring friends together in what they called the Existential Crisis Reading Group, or ECRG. Giselson, who’s written for the Atlantic and the Oxford American, documents a year in which she and the ECRG explore the meaning of life as they read, drink, and share ideas. What ensues is a dynamic examination of human suffering and human joy. They discuss an all-star lineup of literature—including the works of Kingsley Amis, Epicurus, Clarice Lispector, Shel Silverstein, and Leo Tolstoy, to name a few. Giselson nicely evokes the Catholic teachings she learned from her parents; most moving, though, is her hard look at her twin sisters’ lives: both were fraught with mental illness and addiction, traits shared by their father, who was a death-row lawyer in Louisiana. Her narrative is a wonderful look at friendship and grief, as well as an enlightening personal literary journey. Agent: Emma Parry, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2017
        An engrossing memoir chronicles a search for spiritual healing.In 2011, happily married and the mother of two children, journalist Gisleson (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts; co-editor: How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a Work in Progress, 2010) was beset by a "persistent, daily, unsettling dread," a feeling, "vaguely, that everything was wrong." When a close friend asked her to "sit down and talk through some philosophical issues one-on-one," she suggested forming a group instead: other friends, too, seemed in flux and on edge, and the author hoped that a monthly meeting, discussing relevant readings, would help. They called themselves the Existentialist Crisis Reading Group, nicknamed the Futilitarians. Chosen by the dozen or so members, readings ranged from Ecclesiastes to James Baldwin, King Lear to Fight Club and included philosophy, fiction, essays, poetry, biography, memoir, and even a movie. (The author appends the group's reading list.) As Gisleson conveys her responses to these disparate readings, she reveals the events of her life that generated her "messy thoughts and feelings." When she was in her late 20s, her youngest sister, Rebecca, committed suicide; a year and a half later, Rebecca's identical twin, Rachel, also killed herself; and, more recently, her father succumbed to leukemia. Added to these was the devastation to her native New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. Rebecca's death left her shattered. "Unmarried, insecure, and chronically confused," Gisleson writes, "I became paralyzed in my personal life, unable to make good decisions to move things forward." Rachel's death compounded those feelings, preoccupying the author for years. "I harbor a terrible, guilty suspicion," she writes, "that the deaths of my sisters, their disappearance from the family structure," allowed the remaining siblings "to do things we might not otherwise have ventured." Rebecca and Rachel, their life choices, and mental illness are central to Gisleson's story, as is her father, an opinionated, hard-drinking lawyer whose pro bono work for death row inmates the author seeks to understand. A graceful narrative that seamlessly interweaves philosophical reflections and intimate revelations.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription

A memoir of friendship and literature chronicling a search for meaning and comfort in great books, and a beautiful path out of grief.
Anne Gisleson had lost her twin sisters, had been forced to flee her home during Hurricane Katrina, and had witnessed cancer take her beloved father. Before she met her husband, Brad, he had suffered his own trauma, losing his partner and the mother of his son to cancer in her young thirties. "How do we keep moving forward," Anne asks, "amid all this loss and threat?" The answer: "We do it together."
Anne and Brad, in the midst of forging their happiness, found that their friends had been suffering their own losses and crises as well: loved ones gone, rocky marriages, tricky child-rearing, jobs lost or gained, financial insecurities or unexpected windfalls. Together these resilient New Orleanians formed what they called the Existential Crisis Reading Group, which they jokingly dubbed "The Futilitarians." From Epicurus to...

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