What to Do When I'm Gone: A Mother's Wisdom to Her Daughter

Category: Book
Illustrated By: Bateman, Hallie
By (author): Hopkins, Suzy
Subject:  COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Nonfiction / General
  FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement
  FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / Motherhood
  WEIRD / Graphic Novels
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Published: April 2018
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 144
Size: 8.75in x 6.50in
Our Price:
$ 29.00
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

A mother's advice to her daughter--a guide to daily living, both practical and sublime--with full-color illustrations throughout.

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 begone.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.

Review Quote*

"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

"Brimming with beautiful illustrations and hilarious, touching prose, this book is perfect for every mother and daughter and anyone who will someday lose someone they love, which is to say, everyone. I laughed and cried then immediately called my own mother and asked her to tell me everything now, before it's too late." - Wendy MacNaughton

"Beautiful, heart-wrenching, funny. I'll keep this book close till the day I need it--and pass it to my son for the day he will." - Ally Sheedy

Biographical Note

Hallie Batemanis a Los Angeles-based illustrator and writer whose work has appeared in theNew Yorker, theNew York Times Magazine,Lenny, BuzzFeed, theAwl, and elsewhere. Her creative journal,Brave New Work, was published by MOMA in 2017.

Suzy Hopkinsis a former newspaper reporter who since 2008 has published a quarterly magazine (Friends & Neighbors, www.seniorfan.com) for boomers and seniors in California's Central Sierra. She is also Hallie's mom. She lives in Columbia, California.