One of our recommended books for 2020 is Joy Enough by Sarah McColl

JOY ENOUGH

A Memoir


A Belletrist Book of the Month, this “exquisite memoir” (Los Angeles Times) is the perfect balm for any reader who has experienced loss.

Lipsticks applied, novels read, imperfect cakes baked—such memories are recalled with “crystalline perfection” (J.C. Hallmann, Brooklyn Rail) in Sarah McColl’s breathtaking testimonial to the joy and pain of loving well. When her mother, Allison, was diagnosed with cancer, McColl dropped everything—including her on-the-rocks marriage—to return to the family farmhouse and fix elaborate meals in the hope of nourishing her back to health. In “thoughtful and finely crafted prose” (Martha Anne Toll,

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A Belletrist Book of the Month, this “exquisite memoir” (Los Angeles Times) is the perfect balm for any reader who has experienced loss.

Lipsticks applied, novels read, imperfect cakes baked—such memories are recalled with “crystalline perfection” (J.C. Hallmann, Brooklyn Rail) in Sarah McColl’s breathtaking testimonial to the joy and pain of loving well. When her mother, Allison, was diagnosed with cancer, McColl dropped everything—including her on-the-rocks marriage—to return to the family farmhouse and fix elaborate meals in the hope of nourishing her back to health. In “thoughtful and finely crafted prose” (Martha Anne Toll, NPR.org) McColl reveals Allison to be an extraordinary woman of infinite love for her unruly brood of children. Mining her dual losses “with humor and charm” (Rachel Kong, New York Times Book Review) to confront her identity as a woman, McColl walks lightly in the footsteps of the woman who came before her. “A gorgeous, painful, exhilarating debut” (Kirstin Valdez-Quade), Joy Enough is an essential guide to clinging fast to the joy left behind, for readers of Ann Hood and Jenny Offill.

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  • Liveright
  • Paperback
  • January 2020
  • 176 Pages
  • 9781631496639

Buy the Book

$15.95

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About Sarah McColl

Sarah McColl is the author of Joy Enough, credit Joanna Eldredge MorrisseySarah McColl was founding editor-in-chief of Yahoo Food and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her essays have appeared in the Paris Review, StoryQuarterly, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere, and she has been a MacDowell Fellow and Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives in Los Angeles.

Praise

“Written with enough beauty to stop clocks ticking and heart’s beating…. McColl’s resonant first book is resplendent with love, and the hope she finds in discovering that her unfathomable grief also carved a space for more profound joy.” Annie Bostrom, Booklist (starred review)

“Sarah McColl’s Joy Enough resonates with the immediacy of a love letter and the dark wonder of a dream. A tender, candid, force field of an elegy, compressed and expansive at once.” Paul Lisicky, author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship

“How can a memoirist take as her subject such a dark night of the soul—a simultaneous divorce and the death of a beloved mother—and forge such greedy, life-affirming grace? Sarah McColl’s dense and lyrical narrative vignettes are rich with insight and enlivened with humor. Joy Enough will fill every reader with joy.”
– Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

“It doesn’t take long to find yourself in McColl’s rhythm, attuned to the beautiful colors and fragrances and tastes that lodge themselves in our memories…. McColl’s argument — that these small moments make up a life, that these small moments are life – is persuasive, and it is presented with humor and charm…. This is a book about an extraordinary figure who was a housewife, mother, and divorcee. The word ‘mother’ doesn’t entirely do her justice, and yet that’s what this memoir does: does her justice, in more than a summarizing word.” Rachel Kong, New York Times Book Review

“Beautifully tender; a deceptively delicate slow-burn story of grief and love and the desire to hold close those we love.” Sophie Mackintosh. Booker Longlisted author of The Water Cure

“Oh, my heart. Joy Enough is a stunningly beautiful and meditative map of loss—a mother, a marriage, an idea of what life is supposed to be. In prose both poetic and laser-focused, Sarah McColl gives us the seemingly small and gut-punch memories that make up the truth about living through loss and living through love: a garden, a grocery list; a regret, a realization; that thing he said that we wish we could forget and that thing she said that we’ll carry with us for the rest of our goddamn lives. I will carry this book with me for the rest of my goddamn life: a manual, a friend, an inspiration.” – Megan Stielstra, author of The Wrong Way to Save Your Life