Pegasus Books Downtown welcomes Suzy Hopkins and Haille Bateman for a presentation and book signing of What to Do When I'm Gone: A Mother's Wisdom to Her Daughter.
“Taking something as monumental as grief and loss and making it handleable, even for a small bit of time, is no small achievement. And this book achieves just that with humor and honesty and recipes. All critical for persevering.” – Maira Kalman
ABOUT WHAT TO DO WHEN I'M GONE
One sleepless night while she was in her early twenties, illustrator/writer Hallie Bateman had a painful realization: her mom would die, and after she died she would be gone. The prospect was devastating, and also scary--how would she navigate the world without the person who gave her life? She thought about all the motherly advice she would miss--advice that could help her through the challenges to come, including the ordeal of losing a parent.
The next day, Hallie asked her mother, writer Suzy Hopkins, to record step-by-step instructions for her to follow in the event of her mom's death. The list began: "Pour yourself a stiff glass of whiskey and make some fajitas" and continued from there, walking Hallie through the days, months, and years of life after loss, with motherly guidance and support, addressing issues great and small--from choosing a life partner to baking a quiche. The project became a way for mother and daughter to connect with humor, openness, and gratitude. It led to this book.
Combining Suzy's wit and heartfelt advice with Hallie's quirky and colorful style, What to Do When I'm Gone is the illustrated instruction manual for getting through life without one's mom. It's also a poignant look at loss, love, and taking things one moment at a time. By turns whimsical, funny, touching, and above all pragmatic, it will leave readers laughing and teary-eyed. And it will spur conversations that enrich family members' understanding of one another.
Hallie Bateman is an illustrator and writer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Lenny, BuzzFeed, the Awl, and elsewhere. Her creative journal, Brave New Work, was published by MOMA in 2017. She lives in Los Angeles.
Suzy Hopkins is a former newspaper reporter who since 2008 has published a quarterly magazine (Friends and Neighbors, www.seniorfan.com) for boomers and seniors in California’s Central Sierra. She is also Hallie’s mom. She lives in Columbia, California.