Friday, 15 July 2016

Undying: A Love Story

Michel Faber has published a book of poetry Undying:  A Love Story, about the death of his beloved wife Eva Youren, from multiple myeloma.

The above is a link to the Guardian review / interview which provoked my twitching finger to buy two copies by mistake.

Would you like to receive my spare copy?
I considered donating it to the hospice or the local library, but it feels too intimate a work to throw out into the world to perhaps gather dust, instead of being read by someone who values what it has to say on the subjects of myeloma, life, death and the aftermath.

It can be hard reading.
It is very real.
It is also funny, sad, tender and beautiful.

I never met Eva Youren, but she wrote to me a few times in 2012, opening a short correspondence on myeloma, writing and fashion:  the interests we had in common.

There is a poem in the book which reminds me strongly of her emails:  concerning the frustrations her husband felt when trying to shop for her, to find a dress that suited her style and her changing body, in the wake of chemo treatments.
When she wrote to me, I was almost certain she wanted me to sew for her, but I was too overwhelmed by my own situation to volunteer and she did not ask outright.

I did not know that she had died until I noticed that her husband was coming to Aberdeen to  talk about his latest book... and I found out that he would be coming alone.
He wrote a poem about travelling through Inverurie (my local town) that day.  It is in the book.
I did not attend his talk - FL was in a great deal of pain and I was sewing a dress.
Parallel lives.

If you would like to receive my spare copy of Undying, please leave a comment below or email me at the address in my profile (click through from "About Me").

I will draw one name out of the hat on 31 July 2016 .


  1. I would be honoured to receive your spare copy and either knit or donate in return.

    Last August I donated my hair for people I have still feels a very small thing

  2. I would be honoured to receive your spare copy and either knit or donate in return.

    Last August I donated my hair for people I have still feels a very small thing

  3. Michel Faber was talking to Andrew Marr on Start the Week, 4th July, about the book. Worth listening to. Available on BBC I player on podcast. ( Hope to get hold of the book soon, so please don't include me in the draw.)

    1. Oh thank you Colleen! I will listen to that 😊

  4. Thank you for sharing about this, Roo. I haven't read anything by Michel Faber, or seen Eva Youren's work. This is leading me into interesting new waters.
    Warm wishes.

  5. Thanks Roo for the review. Hadn't heard of the book and would dearly love to read it (I think) hope you are ok? Much love from us two

  6. Yes, I'd like to read your spare copy. But then I think it would be nice to pass it along and send it to one of your other blog readers. We could circulate it through the entire list of commenters.

    Be good to yourself. And thanks for continuing to share with us.

  7. I'm a long surviving patient & followed your writing about life with FL (and with FL & multiple myeloma), over several years. You became my best source for a glimpse of what to expect physically and emotionally,(the fatigue factor sucks), and how challenging it can be for those around us. You write with unmatched candor offering genuine insight into the reality of the effort required to keep it all together.

    I felt a deepening sadness when you wrote of the effects of FL's disease progression. About how he began to lose life markers; the easy, relaxed time with his golfing buddies, his ability to drive the car, finishing 'the book,' walking the dog. Often while reading, I could feel that you had steeled yourself to be there for him but it must have been miserable at times, much more than you ever even hinted.

    I'm wandering. My purpose in this is to suggest that you publish your writing because it's gorgeous prose and an engaging story. And I'd like to have it all in one place.