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Scribner (2015-03-24)
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Final Pages


A Memoir

by Thomas, Abigail

From the bestselling author of A Three Dog Life, an exuberant, superbly written memoir about aging, family, creativity, tragedy, friendship, and the richness of life.

What comes next? Readers who loved Abigail Thomas's bestselling memoir A THREE DOG LIFE have been wondering. Abigail herself has wondered. What comes after the devastating loss of her husband, a process both sudden and slow? What form does a lifelong friendship take after certain lines are crossed? How to cope with a daughter's diagnosed illness? Or the death of a beloved dog? Is life worth living without three Manhattans before dinner? How do you paint the ocean on a sheet of glass?

And how to like it? How to accept, appreciate, enjoy? How to find comfort, and pleasure? Who are our most trusted, valuable companions and what will we do for them? Instead of painting an ocean, paint a forest, turn it over, do some scraping, and presto: there is the ocean, beautiful, many colors blue, deep water, no sky. When you’ve given up, when you least expect it, there it is.

What Comes Next and How to Like It is an extraordinarily moving memoir about many things, but at the center is a friendship between Abigail Thomas and a man she met thirty-five years ago. Through marriages, child raising, the vicissitudes and tragedies of life, it is this deep, rich bond that has sustained her.

Abigail Thomas, the daughter of renowned science writer Lewis Thomas (The Lives of a Cell), is the mother of four children and the grandmother of twelve. She was for a time a book editor and for another time a book agent. Her memoir, A Three Dog Life, was named one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. She is also author of Safekeeping, a memoir, and Thinking About Memoir. When Thomas can’t write, she paints. She lives in Woodstock, NY with her three dogs.

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Bighearted…frank and funny and unpretentious…[Thomas’s] gratitude and amazement abound.

Review: More

This may be the most honest book I've ever read, by one of the most beautiful writers I know-- dizzyingly truthful, often funny, lyrical, wise.

Quote: Anne Lamott

I would follow Abigail Thomas on any journey she ever takes. The arrival of a new book from this master is always a cause for celebration, because I know right away that I'm about to learn something important about the art of writing and the art of living, both. I come to her books as though to a feast, and leave fulfilled and transformed.

Quote: Elizabeth Gilbert

Infused with [Thomas’s] signature sense of mordancy and wit…. generous … Here, we have the heart of this memoir — and I do mean heart. WHAT COMES NEXT AND HOW TO LIKE IT is all about depth of feeling, the experience of being a mother and a friend. It is a book that takes its time to find a form, a focus, but once it does, all its disparate pieces fall into exquisite place.

Review: Los Angeles Times

Beautifully written...wry...resilient. Her mature bones may not be all that flexible but her topics and sentences flip and cartwheel with the greatest of ease.

Quote: Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s “Fresh Air”

Abigail Thomas knows adversity and how to make some kind of joy out of it… a meditation on aging and family that brings to mind Anne Lamott or Anna Quindlen… her gift is to never ponder too long on life’s woes.

Review: The Washington Post

Hilarious, wise, generous…full of interesting places and people and art and feeling and moment and thought.

Review: Los Angeles Review of Books

What Comes Next and How to Like It is a beautifully felt, deeply moving memoir, the best work yet by a woman who has already done some of the best work in the field. It's about friendship, and the shocks friendship can endure when it's true and deep.

Quote: Stephen King

Full of love and life. Readers will identify with the feelings and the people even as they realize how different they are, how wondrous.

Review: Booklist

Love, death, friendship and dogs fill the landscape of Thomas’ memories and mediations.

Review: Family Circle

Irreverent, wise, and boundlessly generous.

Review: Vanity Fair

A former book editor and memoirist's account of the remarkable 35-year friendship that sustained her through the trials and tribulations of adult life…A moving and eloquent memoir.

Review: Kirkuis Reviews (starred)

A keenly observed memoir…will leave you gasping… [Thomas] writes of the changes aging brings us all and of coping through love: of family, dogs, a well-turned phrase. She is superb company.

Review: People

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