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This Is How You Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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When Loustalot was eight years old, her charismatic father, Lou, made her a promise it would be impossible to keep: to take his only child on a trip around the world. As bad luck would have it, Lou was HIV positive. It would be but three short years before he would succumb to AIDS. Fifteen years later, still devastated by thoughts of the voyage that never was, Loustalot embarked on her own journey to make peace with her father and herself. In this moving memoir, her first book, Loustalot alternates reminiscences of her dad with highlights of her trip, including Stockholm, Angkor Wat, and Paris. She paints a portrait of a man stoic in the face of quiet suffering (he was married for several years before revealing to his family that he was gay). By turns sweet (sharing white and tan sundaes with Lou at the local creamery) and heart-wrenching (witnessing him collapse into tears in the final months of his life) Loustalot writes with courage and candor about bidding her beloved father a final farewell. --Allison Block
“[C]ompelling reading. An intimate portrait of a bittersweet father-daughter relationship.” ―Kirkus
“Eloquent . . . gently probing . . . delineates a young woman's arduous passage to self-realization.” ―Publishers Weekly
“In this moving memoir, her first book, Loustalot alternates reminiscences of her dad and highlights of her trip, including Stockholm, Angkor Wat, and Paris. She paints a portrait of a man stoic in the face of quiet suffering. By turns sweet . . . and heart-wrenching . . . Loustalot writes with courage and candor about bidding her beloved father a final farewell.” ―Booklist
“Moves between past and present and is told in frank, detailed narrative marked by irony, heartache and some humor.” ―Sacramento Bee
“Victoria Loustalot's memoir will resonate with anyone who has ever tried to resolve the complexities of an enigmatic parent, or plumb what lies at the heart of the filial bond. Her uncommon intelligence, wit, and compassion shine through in this beautifully realized memoir. Loustalot is a beguiling writer and This Is How You Say Goodbye a smashing debut.” ―Alexandra Styron, author of Reading my Father
“In lyrical, thoughtful, often humorous prose, Victoria Loustalot searches for her father, who came out as gay when Victoria was only seven and died from AIDS too young. Her search takes her to many continents and lovers, all as she attempts to understand her own relationship to intimacy. What Loustalot has written is a love story – a moving, aching love story to the father she never knew. It will resonate for all who have loved and lost, and who wish to heal.” ―Kerry Cohen, author of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity
“THIS IS HOW YOU SAY GOODBYE is a remarkable accomplishment. A riveting narrative that lays bare how important it is to come to terms with the past, this honest and heartrending memoir is for everybody who has ever tried to find his or her place in their family-and in the world.” ―Julie Klam, author of You Had Me at Woof and Friendkeeping
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I primarily read fiction, but this is a nonfiction piece that's almost magical in its own right. Beautiful style and such deep insights. Worth every penny and the three extra weeks I had to wait for this (it didn't make it to my school before winter break)