Tell Me Good Things: On Love, Death, and Marriage (Hardcover)
A profound examination of grief and a great celebration of love by internationally bestselling author James Runcie.
In early 2020, as the world sunk into the pandemic, James Runcie and his wife Marilyn Imrie were going through a different, far more personal tragedy. After 35 years of miraculously happy marriage, they learned that the painful, frustrating symptoms Marilyn had been experiencing for two years were a sign of Lou Gehrig's Disease. With this diagnosis, during the isolation and strangeness of the pandemic, James and Marilyn's lives were transformed.
Now, in his startling and intimate memoir, James tells the story of Marilyn's illness and death–-in all its moments of tragedy, rage, and strangeness-–while painting a vivid portrait of her life, in all its color, humor, and brightness. Tender, funny, and deeply true, Tell Me Good Things is an unforgettable story of life before death and love after grief.
About the Author
James Runcie is an award-winning film-maker, playwright and literary curator. He is the author of twelve novels, including the seven books in the Grantchester Mysteries series and The Great Passion. He has been Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival, Head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre, London, and Commissioning Editor for Arts on BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Scotland and London.
“A tender memoir of the challenges of bereavement... I closed this book wishing I'd met her – but feeling that I almost had.” —Daily Telegraph
“A widower turns grief into a profound appreciation of his wife's legacy in this poignant elegy … Runcie entwines beguiling digressions on everything from Victorian mourning customs to the philosophy of soccer fandom among his evocative vignettes of their life together … The result is that rare thing, a moving exploration of a great marriage and its ability to nourish the mind and heart.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Runcie generously fulfils the promise of his title… because his memoir is full of good things: stories that reveal Imrie's sharp intelligence, her bold fashion sense, her glee at pricking the bubble of pretension… Runcie is also touchingly honest… Tender memoir.” —The Times (London)
“A deeply emotional memoir … and a moving meditation on grief … Sorrow imbues a tender, intimate memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[Tell Me Good Things] is not primarily a memoir of illness - of an unwinnable battle to stay alive - but a love letter to the most important person in [Runcie's] life.” —Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
“Vivid, bleak and wonderful… Where Runcie is excellent is in laying bare his own grief, its narcissism and the 'bizarre freedom' is gives him not to care anymore… As an instructive examination of how to find hope in the thralls of despair, Tell Me Good Things is a wonderful addition to the literature of bereavement.” —The Sunday Times (London)
“Wise, refreshing ... A touching human story.” —Hilary Mantel on THE GREAT PASSION
“Runcie has the gift of the born storyteller” —Daily Mail
“Variations on themes of love, loss, and grief run throughout the novel... Runcie beautifully renders each character's humanity and convincingly portrays a creative environment.” —Booklist on THE GREAT PASSION