The Bright Hour

The Bright Hour

A Memoir of Living and Dying

Book - 2017
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"Built on her wildly popular Modern Love column, 'When a Couch is More Than a Couch' (9/23/2016), a breathtaking memoir of living meaningfully with 'death in the room' by the 38 year old great-great-great granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, mother to two young boys, wife of 16 years, after her terminal cancer diagnosis"-- Provided by publisher.
"An exquisite memoir about how to live--and love--every day with 'death in the room, ' from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air. 'We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises. They are the only way to walk from one night to the other.' Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer--one small spot. Within a year, the mother of two sons, ages seven and nine, and married sixteen years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. How does one live each day, 'unattached to outcome'? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty? Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nina Riggs's breathtaking memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in his gorgeous When Breath Becomes Air. She asks, what makes a meaningful life when one has limited time? Brilliantly written, disarmingly funny, and deeply moving, The Bright Hour is about how to love all the days, even the bad ones, and it's about the way literature, especially Emerson, and Nina's other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer. It's a book about looking death squarely in the face and saying 'this is what will be.' Especially poignant in these uncertain times, The Bright Hour urges us to live well and not lose sight of what makes us human: love, art, music, words"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017.
ISBN: 9781501169359
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

List - Death Cafe
Tualatin_AimeeM Mar 09, 2020

It's a book about looking death squarely in the face and saying 'this is what will be.' Especially poignant in these uncertain times, The Bright Hour urges us to live well and not lose sight of what makes us human: love, art, music, words

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Dec 19, 2020

Even though it was sad i couldn't relate to her writing

Jun 22, 2019

A well written memoir. The balance between strength and vulnerability throughout her battle with cancer was admirable. I shed some tears while reading this book, and at the same time it made me laugh, smile and be mindful of life ahead.

Mar 26, 2019


JessicaGma Jul 10, 2018

It's beautifully written so it's lovely but also sad in turns. You follow Nina and her family as they deal with possible remission but then all the bumps and obstacles that come from a terminal disease. I was definitely weeping at the end.

Mar 26, 2018

Not as captivated as I should be ( too soon after reading When Breath Becomes Air). In the face of death, mentions philosopher, relative (RWE) uses "F" word liberally, convinces me she's not at peace with God. Having sat at bedside with 2 who drew their last breath, one at peace with God and looking forward to heaven, one not, angry, struggling to the end - can say with confidence which I'd rather be and know I am (Just a thought).

Jan 20, 2018

from Strib 1/20/18

Oct 14, 2017

Reading this was a true inspiration to me. The courage and humor of this relatively young woman with two young sons and everything to live for is amazing. I think it helps to put our everyday travails in perspective.
Initially I thought this might be too dark a topic for me but it gave me strength instead.

Chapel_Hill_SarahW Oct 07, 2017

Beautifully written. I laughed and cried while reading this. I loved the local references, the thoughts on nature as religion, and her way of seeing the world. Reading this helped me to take extra quiet moments, kiss my babies extra, and be aware of the 'suspicious country' we are all in.

Sep 15, 2017

This was such a beautiful book. Poetic and thought provoking.

Aug 08, 2017

A joy to read, hard not to cry so I cried often. I've read other memoirs by women battling cancer, but this one will stay with me, it is funny, philosophical, truthful, and just so beautifully written.

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Nov 13, 2019

I walk around the room twice, sniffing at everything - searching for just one whiff of her - organic, living/dying her. It is not here. So I stand in the room and cry for a long time.
And then I steal all her shoes.

Nov 13, 2019

"Dying isn't the end of the world." my mother liked to joke after she was diagnosed as terminal.

Oct 04, 2019

“I want death to find me planting my cabbages, not concerned about it or—still less—my unfinished garden.”


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Jun 16, 2017

carolina_girl thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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