Poet Nina Riggs died from metastatic breast cancer at the age of thirty-nine. Her memoir, while set against the knowledge of her approaching death, is about life: its humorous and tender moments, its breathtaking joys and inescapable sorrows. She doesn't dwell on the injustice of her diagnosis or the mutiny of her body; rather, she mourns how little time we all have and how we all must let go of what we love. An achingly beautiful memoir, one that stayed with me for a long time. — Cathy Taylor
— Simon & Schuster
June 2017 Indie Next List
“This uplifting and affirming book will alter readers' views about books on death. Nina Riggs' memoir shares the story of both her ongoing battle against cancer and her mother's valiant fight against the same disease. Both women face the realities of their situation with wonderful humor and candor. Readers will find themselves laughing out loud and sharing passages with other book lovers. As a cancer survivor myself, I felt that I was reading the 'bright book' of the season. The hope, spirit, and determination exhibited in these pages will provide inspiration to all, whether dealing with this disease or not.”
— Nancy Simpson-Brice (M), The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA
***NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER***Best Books of 2017 Selection by * The Washington Post * O Magazine * NPR * Bitch * Medium *"Stunning...heartrending...this year's When Breath Becomes Air." --Nora Krug, The Washington Post"Beautiful and haunting." --Matt McCarthy, MD, USA TODAY"Deeply affecting...simultaneously heartbreaking and funny." --People (Book of the Week)"Vivid, immediate." --Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe Starred reviews from * Kirkus Reviews* Publishers Weekly* Library Journal * Most Anticipated Summer Reading Selection by * The Washington Post * Entertainment Weekly * Glamour * The Seattle Times * Vulture * InStyle * Bookpage * Bookriot * Real Simple * The Atlanta Journal-Constitution * An exquisite memoir about how to live--and love--every day with "death in the room," from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air. "We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises. They are the only way to walk from one night to the other." Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer--one small spot. Within a year, the mother of two sons, ages seven and nine, and married sixteen years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. How does one live each day, "unattached to outcome"? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty? Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nina Riggs's breathtaking memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in his gorgeous When Breath Becomes Air. She asks, what makes a meaningful life when one has limited time? Brilliantly written, disarmingly funny, and deeply moving, The Bright Hour is about how to love all the days, even the bad ones, and it's about the way literature, especially Emerson, and Nina's other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer. It's a book about looking death squarely in the face and saying "this is what will be." Especially poignant in these uncertain times, The Bright Hour urges us to live well and not lose sight of what makes us human: love, art, music, words.