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  • The Bossy Bookworm

Review of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken

ICYMI: Elizabeth McCracken shares her heartbreaking, gorgeous, terrible story of loss and love surrounding the loss of her baby at nine months in utero and her experience living through grief in this stellar five-star memoir.

"This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending."

Elizabeth McCracken was happily single, focused on her writing career. But then she found herself in love and married, thrilled to be expecting a child, living in rural France. Life held so many coming wonders and surprises.

When McCracken loses her baby before its birth, she reels from grief and stumbles into a terrible understanding of how to go on after unimaginable loss.

“I want a book that acknowledges that life goes on, but death goes on too, that a person who is dead is a long, long story. You move on from it, , but the death will never disappear from view.”


McCracken recalls being a teenager living in Boston when a man on the subway shared a card saying "I AM DEAF." After her loss, she yearns for a similar exchange of information in which she owns a stack of cards explaining that her first child was stillborn. "I want people to know but I don't want to say it aloud. People don't like to hear it but I think they might not mind reading it on a card.”

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination is honest, heartbreaking, beautiful, and agonizing.

This is a heartrending memoir about losing a child. McCracken shares her incredible pain and explores the intense healing both in writing this book and in having another child after losing her first.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Elizabeth McCracken is also the author of The Hero of This Book, The Giant's House, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry, and other books.

I mentioned one of McCracken's short story collections, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, in the Greedy Reading List Six Short Story Collections to Wow You.

You might also be interested in the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Powerful Memoirs About Facing Mortality.

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