I Want to Read This

Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir

From the product description:

“I had more or less resolved not to write a book about my parents. But I’m a writer, and when the universe hands you material like this, not writing about it amounts either to waste or a conscious act of evasion.”

In twelve months between 2007 and 2008, Buckley coped with the passing of his father, William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, and his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, one of New York’s most glamorous and colorful socialites. He was their only child and their relationship was close and complicated. Writes Buckley: “They were not — with respect to every other set of loving, wonderful parents in the world — your typical mom and dad.”

Memoirs are one of my favorite genres.  Right up there with histories, Victorian novels, travelogues and poetry.  Everyone has a story.  Because of my own personal history, I am all the more interested when the story involves the loss of a parent.  That sounds twisted, but think of it as “comparing notes.”

My first impression of William F. Buckley was “his vocabulary is massive.” And so, in my early twenties, I began reading his Blackford Oakes Novels with a dictionary, pen and paper next to me.  I was on a treasure hunt and looked up every word I didn’t know.  Buckley taught me more words than my English teacher with the southern drawl whose last name I can’t remember. [Her first name was Agnes.  I can still see her standing before the class giving a quiz; she said incongruous with a lilt that came out in-Con-gress. Forever will Congress and incongruous be linked in my brain.]

Firing Line was one of the shows we hated to miss.  We would scurry around finishing our chores, so we could sit down together and watch Buckley at play.  His eyes widened, he grinned and out came something erudite. 

I haven’t purchased this book whose publishing date is 2009.  But I am eager to read it.


8 thoughts on “I Want to Read This

  1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!  I had not heard of it, but it’s going on my wish list – and I think it might be one my dad might  enjoy for Father’s Day.

  2. Aw, shucks! You got me all excited–I thought you were going to tell us what the son said…I just hope it’s not one of those tell-all books that makes people we respected sound awful. So you got to watch TV for Firing Line? Here I thought you didn’t get to watch TV at all growing up. Hmm….what else did you get to watch?

  3. Christopher is best known for his satire, right?  I just picked up one of his fiction, but cant even remember the name of it.   I wonder how he will approach this sensitive issue of private family life.  At least he has no siblings to challenge his word.  I’m thinking I may want to read what Laura Bush has to say, but that would be a first for me :

  4. So you’re saying you scurried around after 8 years of marriage, finishing chores, so you could watch Firing Line with your husband??? That’s just so wrong, on so many levels!!! Oh, wait, I forgot you’re married to the laundry czar 

  5. We’re getting rid of the tv when we move – perfect time to make the transition. small house, no tv, kids going to school – it’s going to be a whole new world! very exciting. this book sound great and perhaps, in my new life, i’ll have the margin to read it!!!

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