book cover of Wishing for Snow

Wishing for Snow

(2004)
A non fiction book by

 
 
In this brave and lyrically composed tribute to her mother, Minrose Gwin accomplishes something rare in the craft of the memoir: not merely a record of a devastating mother-daughter relationship but a redemptive act of artistic witness as well. In telling the story of her mentally ill poet mother, Erin Taylor Clayton Pitner, Gwin looks backward and forward at a southern family, linking personal and cultural malaise while also attempting to envision the person her mother longed to be, the woman Gwin never knew.

Erin Taylor wasn't always crazy. Her childhood diary from 1930 reveals a cheerful, observant Mississippi girl who always wished for snow, though "usually it didn't come. And when it came it didn't stick." From a dreamy college student to a young divorced mother who then remarried, grew middle aged, and began to write and publish poetry, Erin Taylor spiraled deeper and deeper into the psychosis that eventually defined her existence until her death from ovarian cancer. Gwin searches for her mother amid the poetry, letters, recipes, traffic tickets, newspaper clippings, medical reports, and quixotic lists left behind. She even conjures a ghostly "Erin in the office" who tells her own version of Gwin's memories.

"There is," Gwin writes, "such a thing as crazy-mother bonding. This can occur unexpectedly any time two women who have crazy mothers are having a conversation. . . . There are more crazy mothers than you might think." With humor, intrigue, and sadness, Gwin's compelling memoir reflects the brilliance and despair of her mother's life. Haunting every page of Wishing for Snow is the sense that Erin Taylor is transcending the tragic limitations of mental and physical disease through her daughter's quest to truly know her. Gwin's combination of candor and grace takes wing toward a reconciliation both impossible and utterly necessary.



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Used availability for Minrose Gwin's Wishing for Snow

Hardback Editions

January 2004 : USA Hardback
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Title: Wishing for Snow: A Memoir
Author(s): Minrose Gwin
ISBN: 0-8071-2928-3 / 978-0-8071-2928-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Louisiana State Univ Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2011 : USA Paperback
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Title: Wishing for Snow: A Memoir
Author(s): Minrose Gwin
ISBN: 0-06-204634-9 / 978-0-06-204634-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Wishing for Snow: A Memoir
Author(s): Minrose Gwin
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA