Staying: A Memoir
A BOOK WE LOVED: Delicately and gracefully written, this memoir has at its heart a family tragedy, but is steeped in light and insight into the complicated nature of grief, family bonds, and writing as healing. Cole writes enigmatically about the NSW rainforest that both nourished her child self, and consoled (sometimes swamped) her grieving adult self. This is a story about staying, when others we've loved have gone. Molly
As children, Jessie Cole and her brother Jake ran wild, free to roam their rainforest home as they pleased. They had each other, parents who adored them, and two mysterious, beautiful, clever half-sisters, Billie and Zoe, who came to visit every holidays. But when Jessie was on the cusp of adolescence, tragedy struck, and her happy, loving family fell apart.
This heartbreaking memoir asks what happens to those who are left behind when someone takes their own life. It's about the importance of home, family and forgiveness--and finding peace in a place of pain.
By the critically acclaimed author of Darkness on the Edge of Townand Deeper Water.
Jessie Colegrew up in an isolated valley in northern New South Wales and lived a bush childhood of creek swimming and barefoot free-range adventuring. Her first novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, was shortlisted for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal and longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. Her second novel, Deeper Water, was released in 2014 to much critical acclaim.
'Graceful, revealing, pitch perfect. Cole is an author who pays sharp attention to the world around her.' Australian on Deeper Water
'A wounded, lovely, luminous book about grief, trauma and the strange healing potential of words.' Tim Winton
'Stayingis a well-written, extremely moving memoir that steers resolutely clear of stereotypes and self-pity...For all the darkness, there is light too. Cole is a gifted writer with a sensual turn of phrase, and her exploration of the reverberating effects of suicide is both illuminating and absorbing. It will appeal to readers who loved her previous novels.' Books+Publishing
'This touching memoir from Australian author Jessie Cole, whose childhood was irrevocably changed when her sister committed suicide, offers a rare personal take on unthinkable tragedy.' Elle
'When Australia's cultural narratives insist an artist must leave home to succeed, Cole shows one forged by staying put...It's surprising that, in the midst of such sorrow, what resounds is a sensation of fecundity. But perhaps it's not, from a writer of such talent and grace.' Saturday Paper
'Stayingis a heartbreaking testament to the despair, helplessness and guilt of those left behind.' Australian Financial Review
'Stayingis rich and complex - and often surprisingly funny given its dark subject matter. Above all, this memoir is a meditation on what it means to be traumatised by loss, and ultimately to be healed by life.' Sydney Morning Herald
'This is a book buoyant with a love for family and the natural world. Its pages are filled with light: the vividness of the living being who wants to live...Its message is that life has a tenacious power to draw us out of states of bereavement that, if surrendered to, have the capacity to destroy us entirely.' Australian
'Heartbreaking...a truly beautiful book.' New Zealand Women's Weekly
'Stayingisn't just a tale of paradise lost - it's about the birth of an artist in the midst of trauma, crafted with the eye and prose of a novelist. It's also a hymn to a landscape, and to the immense difficulty in deciding simply to stay.' Adelaide Advertiser
'A delicate, difficult portrait of a family suffering delicate, difficult circumstances.' Adelaide Review
'I have read many memoirs this year, but none as scrupulously honest as this one...I am pleased Cole was talented enough, and brave enough, to share her words, providing insight into a subject that will doubtless touch many readers.' Otago Daily Times
Jessie Cole grew up in an isolated valley in northern New South Wales and lived a bush childhood of creek swimming and barefoot free-range adventuring. Her first novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, was shortlisted for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal and longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. Her second novel, Deeper Water, was released in 2014 to much critical acclaim.