Update needed, as Caitlin would say.
Three years ago today, on the 9-month anniversary of her lung transplant, during a walk around Walden Pond, I decided to start writing what I called “the Caitlin book.” I wasn’t even sure what kind of book it would be, or if I could manage to write it, but it seemed a worthy goal, and I had no idea what else to do with myself besides lay down and die.
I wrote ploddingly, like a zombie at first, and then as if in a fever. It took two years. I was fortunate in that it found a very good home, very quickly, last fall, with HarperOne, a visionary and soulful house tucked inside the busy and sometimes spirit-crushing world that is New York publishing.
Today, three years later, I can announce that the book is well into production, with a cover and beautifully designed pages. It is now a book that can exist in this world without me, and there’s a very large measure of relief in that.
People have been asking when they can pre-order and there are two answers: right now and thank you. Pre-orders help books so much, you may have no idea, but it’s the age-old story: the more interest there is in something, the more interest there is in something, and the more popular and supported that something becomes. I do believe that this book is very worthy of support, so thank you for pre-ordering, and sharing this page with others, and gifting it, and talking about it.
The book is about my search for revelation and meaning, for answers to the big life questions: Where is she? Is she? Is there more to life than this life? Does consciousness survive death? Does my existence have any real purpose? Does anyone’s?
I wrote it, but some of it almost feels divinely downloaded. And Caitlin’s old-soul wisdom permeates the entire book, of course.
People ask about the title. LITTLE MATCHES is a riff on a few lines from a favorite book of mine. Those two little words —”little matches”—represent all that the book is to me, and what I hope it will be for others.
“What is the meaning of life? That was all — a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.”Virginia Woolf, To the lighthouse
When you write a book, you also end up writing a little script whereby you distill its essence so that you can talk about it at events and such. Here’s what I wrote for the preface and what I know I will say over and over and it will always be a truth: I am not the first person to have lost what was most important to me. Humans lose every day, and lose hard: children, beloveds, sacred homelands, freedoms. LITTLE MATCHES is for anyone who loses hard and asks, Now what?
♥️ Thank you.
17 thoughts on “SEPTEMBER 18 — Matches struck in the dark”
Ordered it today. Can’t wait to read it
Thank you so much.
Ordered two copies. One for me and one for my sister who lost her 29 year old daughter to diabetes. I know Little Matches will be a treasure.
Thank you. I’m so sorry for the loss of your niece. My heart’s with her mom. x
Oh, God. Now what, indeed. Preordering.
I hope you will find some comfort in its pages, dear Liza.
I expect to. It will be released three days before the first anniversary, and I know I will find wise and helpful words. Your strength has always inspired me, and now I’ll learn from your inner wisdom.
A circle. I cried reading this, thinking, reliving so much of that last year…. so glad that Judith Curr has this book and is taking care of you and it. Sending love – I don’t have a lot of other words. (And ordered!)
Thank you so much, Melisse. Sending love right back at you.
I am so happy to pre-order–for me, for gifts–and forward this to many, many friends. Thank you, Maryanne, for this “match” to help us all see our way through.
Thank you, Betsy. You are truly a kindred spirit and I hope this book comforts and inspires many. XXX
I love this post. I love the title. I love the jacket. I know I will love the book. Congratulations, and guess what–love.
Oh thank you!! Sending love right back. x
I can’t wait to read it, gift it, and cherish it forever just like we do Caitlin.
Thank you so very much, Katie. She loved spending time with you!
Everyone in our family will receive your book from me as a tribute to you and to Caitlin. I have two very dear friends who lost children in their 30’s and I hope this will help them with their unending grief.
Oh I hope so, too. Thank you so much, Roselee. x