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Memoir: Imperfect Endings

Albany author Zoe Carter tackles the tough subject of end-of-life issues


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Courtesty of Zoe Carter

When Albany author Zoe Carter’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the late 1990s, she knew there would come a day when she would want to end her life. And, she told Carter and her other two daughters just how she would do it.

Carter’s memoir, Imperfect Endings, chronicles the emotional roller coaster of watching her mother choose suicide and what Carter’s role in that decision entailed. Carter, a longtime magazine journalist, hopes her book will provoke thoughtful debate about an unquestionably touchy topic. It will definitely get attention because Imperfect Endings will be excerpted in this month’s issue of Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine.

“End-of-life issues are not easy to talk about in our society, but people are hungry to have these discussions,” says Carter. “The book raises a lot of questions about assisted suicide. These are incredibly difficult choices and profound issues we are faced with.”

Carter, who started writing Imperfect Endings about four years after her mother’s death in 2001, presents her story without taking sides on the issue. “I’m not a poster child for assisted suicide or antiassisted suicide. It’s a very difficult choice, and assisting in it carries an enormous psychic burden.”

Carter will appear at Books Inc. in Berkeley on March 7 and at Read Booksellers in Blackhawk Plaza on March 18.

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