Losing Mum and Pup

A Memoir

Publisher: Emblem Editions
“I had more or less resolved not to write a book about my parents. But I’m a writer, and when the universe hands you material like this, not writing about it amounts either to waste or a conscious act of evasion.”

So begins award-winning satirist Christopher Buckley in the most personal and transcendent work of his life, the tragicomic true story of the year in which both of his parents died.

In twelve months between 2007 and 2008, Buckley coped with the passing of his father, William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, and his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, one of New York’s most glamorous and colorful socialites. He was their only child and their relationship was close and complicated. Writes Buckley: “They were not — with respect to every other set of loving, wonderful parents in the world — your typical mom and dad.”

As Buckley tells the story of their final year together, he takes readers on a surprisingly entertaining tour through hospitals, funeral homes, and memorial services, capturing the heartbreaking and disorienting feeling of becoming a fifty-five-year-old orphan. Buckley maintains his sense of humor by recalling the words of Oscar Wilde: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.”

Christopher Buckley offers consolation, wit, and warmth to those coping with the death of a parent, while telling a unique personal story of life with legends.

From the Hardcover edition.



I’m not sure how this book will turn out. I mostly write novels, and I’ve found, having written half a dozen, that if you’re lucky, the ending turns out a surprise and you wind up with something you hadn’t anticipated in the outline. I suppose it’s a process of...
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"Loving, exasperated and very funny. In its moments of real ambivalence, Losing Mum and Pup is a surprisingly strong drink."
New York Times Book Review

"Good beach-book stuff, fascinating, well-written..."

"Christopher Buckley is a marvelous writer."
National Post

"Hauntingly beautiful, luminous, ribald, tender, wrenching memoir. . . . And it is nothing if not honest, hilarious and mercy-filled."
Globe and Mail

"Breezy, witty, savvy and perceptive — and occasionally bitchy and biting — Losing Mum and Pup displays all the hallmarks of the younger Buckley's acclaimed fiction."
Washington Post

From the Hardcover edition.