Ann Hood is the editor of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting and the best-selling author of The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, Comfort, and An Italian Wife, among other works. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, a Best American Food Writing Award, a Best American Travel Writing Award, and the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
The first six pages of this wrenchingly honest memoir of Hood's daughter's death and its aftermath read like a tightly controlled scream. All the platitudes, the dozens of words of comfort that people offer-"time heals," "she is in a better place"-are interspersed with Hood's silent, furious responses to these "lies," with special scorn for those who say, "Are you writing this down?" The death of her five-year-old Grace in 2002 was completely unexpected: an ordinary strep throat somehow ravaged the organs of her small body. Hood (The Knitting Circle) takes readers through the slow, jagged steps of dealing with grief. Unable to write, she first took refuge in endless knitting, then got a tattoo on Grace's sixth birthday. Hiding from the Beatles' songs her daughter had loved, she found them so ubiquitous that she could finally listen only to talk radio. Grace's little shoes stood sentinel at the top of the stairs and three years passed before Hood could bear to clean her room. But there is redemption at the end of this short, anguished book. Hood and her husband have a new daughter, Annabelle, adopted from China, and at last, Hood can celebrate Mother's Day, albeit with a "strange mixture of grief and joy." (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"Comfort is novelist Ann Hood's utterly harrowing, completely spellbinding memoir of losing her five-year-old daughter, Grace, to a rare form of strep in 2002... [A] spare, gorgeously serpentine narrative... Unforgettable." -- Elle "Comfort enriches our lives... I will most likely never eat pasta with butter and Parmesan or cucumbers cut in perfect rounds ... without thinking of Ann Hood and her daughter. And I have never met either one." -- Los Angeles Times "In graceful prose, Comfort bears witness to the heartbreaking particularity of her-of any-loss." -- People "Hood is larger than life, living, loving, and grieving on an operatic scale." -- New York Times Book Review