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Description - Until Tonight by Laure Adler

Seventeen years later, Laure Adler finally started to put her grief into words. In lucid, unsentimental prose, "Until Tonight" describes the nightmarish events she lived through. She is never given a clear prognosis, and Remi's continued resilience feeds a desperate kind of hope in his family - and in the reader. When he finally dies, Adler and her partner become "vagrants hunted by pain".

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781862075993
ISBN-10: 1862075999
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Until Tonight by Laure Adler

Book Reviews - Until Tonight by Laure Adler

UK Kirkus Review » In 1983, Laure Adler's baby son Remi died in a Paris hospital. It wasn't until 17 years later, when she was involved in a car accident that could have proved fatal, that she decided to write about it. The memoir of loss has become a well-established genre, but Adler's account is unusually simple and unsentimental. She brilliantly conveys the Kafkaesque feeling of finding herself in a world where she has no idea of what is happening to her baby son, she is not consulted about his treatment, and she cannot find out whether he has any chance of survival. At the age of nine months, Remi, an apparently active and healthy baby, was very suddenly taken ill and rushed to hospital. From that moment, Adler and her husband were never able to hold or cuddle him again. Remi was kept in an intensive care unit, attached to tubes and machines, and remained there for the rest of his short life. Attempts by the baby's parents to find out what has caused his illness came to nothing; the medical staff were cold and unhelpful. Adler's account focuses almost exclusively on the baby and her feelings about him: despite his age, she believes that he showed courage, and actively fought to stay alive. The guilt she feels about abandoning him to the hospital is enormous: 'He belonged to them. We had let them have him. They decided everything, starting with what went into his body: artificial air, drip feeds, liquid medicines. He was theirs.' She veers between hope and despair; without any solid information to go on, she doesn't know whether he has any chance of pulling through. The book says little of Adler's relationship with her husband, or with her other son or stepson. This is disappointing because it would have given much more context to the story. At the same time, this single-minded focus on Remi conveys the intensity of the emotional experience for Adler: the only thing that mattered to her was that her son should live. This is a short book, but a powerful one; it's impossible not to be moved by the sense of loss and anguish Adler still feels 19 years on. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Laure Adler

Laure Adler was born in 1950. She has written several books on the history of women, and a prize-winning biography of Marguerite Duras. She has worked in publishing and as a journalist, and is now the Director of the France Culture radio station.

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