Sunday, January 10, 2010

Losing Mum and Pup: A Brave Book

In the last 24 hours, I've read Christopher Buckley's memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, about the deaths of his parents William and Pat Buckley.

William F. Buckley Jr., as you know doubt know, was the conservative who used big words on Firing Line and wrote several dozen books and created National Review. I long admired his intelligence and style and wit and devotion to his faith, though I disagreed with him politically almost entirely. I've tended to refer to any thoughtful conservative as Buckleyesque.

Son Christopher, himself the author of 14 books, is a writer I'd seen interviewed by Jon Stewart and knew as the author of Thank You for Smoking (saw the movie) but had never read until now. I'm soon to read the rest of him.

His memoir about the loss of his parents--his mother Pat Buckley as interesting a character as his famous father--is as loving as a story can be, though it has been criticized for how much it reveals. It is also as funny a book as I've ever read. It feels tremendously honest.

This is not a full-blown review; I'm not going back through the book finding examples to quote to prove my points. I simply want to congratulate Christopher Buckley on his courage and balance, and to say to anyone who may have so far missed the book: Read It. I'll think of him whenever, in my work, I fear I'm losing my nerve.

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kenju said...

Thanks for reminding me that I want to read it. I read an article about Christopher and the book in Vanity Fair last year.

Peggy Payne said...

I read that piece too, Kenju, and then forgot to go get the book. I wish my library had Netflix-like queue so that I could just enter a title onto a list and at some point it would arrive at my house. New business idea!