The Short Goodbye
This book is a little over 10,000 words, so shouldn’t take much more than an hour to read, but took me months to write. And while it’s a memorial to my niece, I hope it’s not mawkish, voyeuristic or over-sentimental. It is a brief journey through three cultures: American, Japanese, and my own, British, and touches on the last rites of Japan and Arkansas, at least as witnessed by me though my family members. It raises the question of whether it is better to live a short life that reaches many or a long, solitary one.
The Short Goodbye comprises an essay about travelling back to Arkansas for my niece’s funeral, the transcript of that funeral, and an essay on the death of my father-in-law in Japan.