A lovely review of Geist 84, Spring 2012, in The Globe and Mail, written by James Adams.
We're so awash in memoirs these days that when I encounter one in a magazine, I usually flip past it unless it's written by someone famous or about someone famous (fame, of course, being a terribly relative thing).
Still, something gave me pause when I came upon Connie Kuhns's memoir of the last days of her dying dad in a hospital in Cheyenne, Wyo. It was probably the photographs, black-and-white family snaps interspersed with colour pictures of lonesome highways piercing prairie vistas that put me in a Walker Evans-James Agee state of mind. I'm glad I stopped to read and I think you will be, too.
"Last Day in Cheyenne" is a beautiful piece of prose, moving without being mawkish, its sentences at once terse and full in the spirit, at least, of Raymond Carver: "He had told my brothers the week before that he didn't want to die in Wyoming. He made them promise to get him out of that place and get him home. He was done. He was through."
Kuhns, who's from Vancouver, also has the true writer's knack (or curse?) of being able to both experience and observe the moment, as when she describes the men from the funeral home "looking like they had been in detox once or twice."
Read "Last Day in Cheyenne" by Connie Kuhns.
Explore Geist 84, Spring 2012.