Review: Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt

making toast "You have produced a wonderful daughter."

That's what Roger Rosenblatt wrote in the book that I presented to him to sign. I told him it was for my old man.

I was 23. I idolized Rosenblatt. I met him at poetry camp, a writer's conference I had been pining after for years, largely because he directed it.

It's an unnatural thing to do, to meet your heroes, so I proceeded to make the encounter as surreal as possible by launching into a thank you to Rosenblatt for helping me to write my grandfather's eulogy (??) and I was spastically tripping over my excited words about loss and crying, but he understood, you see, because he is an other-worldly writer, but he is also a man, and a father.

He is a father. Who produced his own wonderful daughter. As this book I'm reviewing demonstrates.

Rosenblatt has been my favorite writer for a long time. When I began this book, I couldn't find him in it, howerver. Where was that elevated language, that elegant writing? But about a quarter way through this memoir about his life as a grandfather/father following the sudden death of his daughter Amy, I realized this book was still very much an elegant masterpiece with clear, sobering words and a strategic organization of facts and vignettes that will poke your heart with tiny needles dozens of times. I also cracked up very loudly in a few parts. Read this book and give it to someone who is grieving as a gift. I cannot think of a better family story to share.