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Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes Elizabeth L. Silver for a discussion and signing of her new book, The Tincture of Time. Ms. Silver will be in conversation with local author Elizabeth McKenzie (The Portable Veblen).
Growing up as the daughter of a dedicated surgeon, Elizabeth L. Silver felt an unquestioned faith in medicine. When her six-week-old daughter, Abby, was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with sudden seizures, and scans revealed a serious brain bleed, her relationship to medicine began to change.
The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty is Silver’s gorgeous and haunting chronicle of Abby’s first year. It’s a year of unending tests, doctors’ opinions, sleepless nights, promising signs and steps backward, and above all, uncertainty: The mysterious circumstances of Abby’s hospitalization attract dozens of specialists, none of whom can offer a conclusive answer about what went wrong or what the future holds. As Silver begins to think about what it means to cope with uncertainty as a patient and parent and seeks peace in the reality that Abby’s injury may never be fully understood, she looks beyond her own story for comfort. She probes literature, religion, and the history of medicine, and reports the stories of doctors, patients, and fellow caretakers. The result is a blend of personal narrative and cultural analysis, at once a poignant snapshot of a parent’s struggle and a wise examination of the boundaries of medicine. Happily, today Abby is a joyous, sweet, and very active toddler.
Elizabeth L. Silver is the author of the novel The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, which has been published in seven languages. Her writing has been published in McSweeney’s, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, The Millions, and elsewhere. She has worked as an attorney in Texas and California, and as an adjunct instructor of English literature and composition. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.
is the author of The Portable Veblen
, published by Penguin Press and 4th Estate. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Best American Nonrequired Reading
, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology
, and recorded for NPR’s Selected Shorts. Her collection, Stop That Girl
, was short-listed for The Story Prize, and her novel MacGregor Tells the World
was a Chicago Tribune
, San Francisco Chronicle
and Library Journal Best Book
of the year. She is the fiction editor at Santa Cruz's Catamaran Literary Reader
“The Tincture of Time is just the kind of memoir this world desperately needs. In precise and powerful language, Elizabeth Silver uses her deeply singular experience to shed light on universal issues of wellness, health, the body, healing, and trust. She shines her bright, generous intellect into the deepest reaches of her own heart, and into the heart of every reader. This book will change you, teach you, move you. Read it.” —Emily Rapp, author of The Still Point of the Turning World