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Forces of Nature: A Memoir of Family, Loss, and Finding Home (Paperback)

Forces of Nature: A Memoir of Family, Loss, and Finding Home By Gina DeMillo Wagner Cover Image
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FORCES OF NATURE explores the intersections of disability and loss, nature and nurture, families of origin and families of choice. It begins with the moment the author, Gina DeMillo Wagner, finds out her brother Alan, who had a complicated genetic disorder, is dead. From there, she takes readers along as she is pulled away from the safety of her friends, away from her husband and kids, and thrust back into a family she has been estranged from for nearly ten years. The memoir documents this rewinding and revisiting of the past, plus Alan’ s Christmas-themed funeral, an investigation into Alan’ s cause of death, Wagner's unraveling in the face of complicated grief, and finally the day – ten months later – when her parents divide his cremated remains and bury him in separate states. Within this framework, Wagner weaves in scenes from her childhood that illustrate what it’ s like to be a sister and caregiver to a sibling with disabilities, the daughter of a mentally ill parent, and how she forges her own path and find peace by creating a family of choice.

About the Author

Gina DeMillo Wagner is an award-winning journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Memoir Magazine, Modern Loss, Self, Outside, CRAFT Literary, and other publications. She is a winner of the CRAFT Creative Nonfiction Award, and her memoir was longlisted for the 2022 SFWP Literary Award. She lives and works near Boulder, Colorado. Website: ginadwagner.com

Praise For…

"An astonishing story of sibling love… Deft and affecting in every way.” —Nora McInerny, author of Bad Vibes Only and host of Terrible, Thanks for Asking podcast 

“Every once in a while, a memoir comes along to remind us of a profound truth that we recognize as our very own. Forces of Nature reveals how pain and beauty, grief and living coexist within every family and every form of love… Gina DeMillo Wagner brings compassion and wisdom to every page." —Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief 

"Sharing moments that are both tender and tragic, and sometimes as haunting as they are hilarious, Forces of Nature takes on the gravity of family dysfunction but also shows us how to transcend it… It’s a page turner, a tear jerker and a soul-stirring chronicle of human resilience.” —Annette McGivney, author of Pure Land, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award 

"With wisdom, hope and humor, Forces of Nature offers an honest and rich exploration of complicated grief… Gina reveals the complexities of losing people we love, and loving imperfect people without abandoning ourselves.” —Jessi Hempel, author of The Family Outing 

"Within these pages, Wagner’s words act as an offering to anyone working through loss, that it is an act of love to let go.” —Rebecca Woolf, author of All of This 

"Gina beautifully describes the physical and emotional toll that caregiving exacted on her own life, as well as the heartbreak of being the one who everyone looks to when things fall apart… Her story of resilience is profound and is certain to resonate with anyone who’s struggled to keep their head above water while trying to find themselves.” —Matthew Logelin, New York Times bestselling author of Fatherhood 

“In Forces of Nature, Gina invites the reader into the intimate landscape of family history, what choices are made beyond our control, what questions linger, and how we decide which path to take. This memoir is all at once a can’t-put-it down riveting story of familial love, heartache, betrayal, and loss and also a gentle call to one’s own unexplored inner world. Forces of Nature allows us to witness ourselves acknowledging how we are marked by harm yet still held by beauty… This is a deeply needed and profoundly moving story on how to hold grief and hope within a past we cannot change.” —Katherine Sleadd, author of How to Be a Bad Friend 
Product Details
ISBN: 9781960018793
ISBN-10: 1960018795
Publisher: Running Wild Press
Publication Date: May 14th, 2024
Pages: 316
Language: English
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