At age 39, Ariel Gore has everything she’s always wanted: a successful writing career, a long-term partnership, a beautiful if tiny home, a daughter in college and a son in preschool. But life’s happy endings don’t always last. If it’s not one thing, after all, it’s your mother.
Her name is Eve. Her epic temper tantrums have already gotten her banned from three cab companies in Portland. And she’s here to announce that she’s dying. “Pitifully, Ariel,” she sighs, “you’re all I have.” Ariel doesn’t want to take care of her crazy dying mother, but she knows she will.
It’s the right thing to do, isn’t it?
And, anyway, How long could it go on?
“Don’t worry,” Eve says. “If I’m ever a burden, I’ll just blow my brains out.”
Ariel’s partner, Sol, agrees to come along, too, but on the condition that they all move into a bigger house … in New Mexico. So Ariel packs up her home and family and moves more than a thousand miles away from their work and community to become her mother’s reluctant caregiver.
Darkly humorous and intimately human, The End of Eve reads like Terms of Endearment meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Amidst the chaos of clowns and hospice workers, pie and too much whiskey, Ariel’s own ten-year relationship begins to unravel, forcing her to reconsider the meaning of family and everything she’s ever been taught to call “love.”
Included in Best Books of 2014 So Far
Gay/Lesbian (GLBT) Book 2014
New Mexico Arizona Book Award 2014
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
Included in Ten Best Memoirs of the Year 2014
Best Lesbian Award 2014
Gore has such well-honed storytelling skills that she pares away the unnecessary until all that remains is a spare, exposed and beautiful story. Nothing need be added, nor taken away or altered…Even though the content of The End of Eve scared me...Forward
The 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards–or the “Lammys,” as they are affectionately known–kick off another record-breaking year with today’s announcement of the finalists. They were chosen from a record 818 submissions (up from 746 last...Forward
We love having visiting authors! Ariel Gore stopped by to autograph copies of The End of Eve on her way to the University of Oregon for the next event on the National Book Tour.
Ariel Gore on AM Northwest talking about her mother and her memoir, The End of Eve.
Ariel Gore hard at work recording her memoir, The End of Eve, for Audible.com.
The depth of insight of The End of Eve often took my breath away. Not to mention its drop-dead humor, the sadness, and the rage. Ariel Gore’s memoir is in its essence a how to book. In the face of death, our grief, how to breathe, how to be brave, how to be funny, how to be authentic. How to make it through. But most of all: tenderness – how Ariel puts human tenderness on the page is an act of poetry damn close to sublime.
- Tom Spanbauer
- Author of In The City of Shy Hunters
Ariel Gore has blown my mind twice before with her previous books on
motherhood and happiness – now she’s stunned me a third time with The End of Eve. This is the story of the world’s most startlingly insane, beautiful mother who was supposed to die in one year – but nearly killed her entire family and staff before she was through.
- Susie Bright
- Author of Full Exposure
Dorothy Parker famously said “there are no happy endings,” but Ariel Gore’s sweet, tough, elegant account of her mother’s last days is absurdly happy – if happy means inhabiting life in all its mess, distress, beauty and occasional hilarity. A near-perfect gem.
- Karen Karbo
- Author of Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life
Ariel Gore takes some of the heaviest life work - caring for a difficult, terminally ill parent - and somehow through her writing transforms it into a funny, interesting, moving experience. Her work is like origami in that way - capable of changing one solid thing into something entirely different, and beautiful, because of the way she looks at the world. Totally unique, and very inspiring.
- Corin Tucker, Sleater-Kinney
By turns tender and heartbreaking, Gore’s book is a brave, thoroughly authentic journey to the center of the human heart. Wickedly sharp reading filled to bursting with compassion, rage, pain and wit.
- Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
Gore’s mantra of “Behave in a way you’re going to be proud of” guided her well during her mother’s seemingly unending final illness but also in the writing of this book.
- Therese Nielsen, Library Journal
Gore is a brave writer who does not flinch at baring herself even when she is behaving badly. She can take the perils of lifelong grief and transform them into a swan song you hope never ends.
- Emily Grosvenor, Eugene Magazine
If Cheryl Strayed’s Wild was a grungier version of that original 21st century woman’s-quest-for-self-actualization-in-far-off places, Eat, Pray, Love (with less cash, more blisters), then Ariel Gore’s The End of Eve is a more Portland version of Wild (more tattoos; road trips in trailers; a cornucopia of naturopaths, hipsters, even a feminist boyfriend with a PhD in Anais Nin)...To say I loved this memoir avoids admitting an embarrassing cliché: Once I picked up this book, I literally could not put it down.
Written while the wound of loss was still fresh, the rawness of this memoir sets it apart from others in the genre…Transcending blame, Gore shifts the paradigm that usually dominates grief memoirs, charting a courageous course through a different type of sorrow: mourning for the parent who couldn’t, wouldn’t love her enough.
- Wayne Scott, The Oregonian
A darkly humorous mother-daughter memoir ... Gore never wavers into self-pity.
- Meredith May, The San Francisco Chronicle
Far from being morose, though, this is a darkly humorous and at times even insanely cheerful account, launched by her mother’s nonchalant announcement that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. [P]art Terms of Endearment, part Grey Gardens, and part Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Altogether, a quiet, funny, unsentimental portrait of caregiving and bearing witness.
- June Sawyers, Booklist
The memoir is in the running for my favorite book of the year. It is gut-wrenching to read and bear witness to this period in the author’s life, but by the end, the reader has been given a hard-won gift in this beautifully written book. A worthy addition to anyone’s bookshelf.
- Jillian L. Schweitzer, AtlasWonders
Behave in a way you’re going to be proud of, she writes on her wrist. The simple agency of this moment—a human being trying to be good—feels universally poignant and almost heartbreakingly endearing.
- Nishida Mehra, Trope Magazine
The End of Eve was accomplished by an experienced journalist and writer across genre — her prose is both eloquent and spare. Gore is an expert at plunging into the sensory specifics of a narrative moment and staying only long enough for the characters to have a compelling exchange — plus, she never wastes a detail of description that doesn’t resonate on a larger thematic level.
- Alison Barker, The Los Angeles Review of Books
The End of Eve is more than a memoir; it is a new Bible of sorts, a book we can turn to when things get thick.
- Sarah Maria Medina, Bitch Media
This is a remarkable balancing act between boundaries and compassion, between self-protection and self-giving. With the help of richly dark humor and hard work, Ariel Gore maintains her poise and outlasts the demon. Barely. Read this book. It’s all about living in the mess with grace. It’s a lesson in courage.
- Richard Haddaway
The End Of Eve: A Memoir is the perfect antidote to Mother’s Day. As a memoirist, Ariel Gore is gifted: she is able to tell a heartbreaking story of illness and betrayal with the perfect mix of respect, humor and irreverence.
- Jessica Wakeman, The Frisky
...An incredibly honest and genuine voice.The memoir explores all the complex and at times contradictory emotions that make up relationships — love, anger, jealousy, joy, hopelessness. The prose is tender and candid, and very often darkly funny.
- Caroline Diezyn, Offbeat Home & Life
If I had to pick a must-read book of the year so far, it would be this book. The End of Eve is approachable, witty, and beautiful, with an underlying tough-as-fucking-nails attitude that leads you into dazzling spaces and dark corners without a second’s warning. The intersection of gorgeous, thoughtful writing and an immediately-compelling story put it high up on my list of books to recommend to just about anybody. Read it, okay?
- Susie Rodarme, Insatiable Booksluts
Gore has such well-honed storytelling skills that she pares away the unnecessary until all that remains is a spare, exposed and beautiful story.
- Rebecca Fish Ewan, Brevity
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