After Image - A Brokenhearted Memoir of a Charmed Life by Carla Malden
Product description In this fiercely personal account of her battling the before, and surviving the after, of losing her husband to cancer, Carla Malden takes us on a journey through grief to gratitude that alerts the entire forever-young generation: this is not your mother’s widowhood. AfterImage is a story of love more than loss, memory more than sorrow, life more than death. Review “I've spent my professional life telling stories. AFTERIMAGE does exactly that and touches us where we live. It is compelling, moving, raw -- with moments of surprising humor. I try to leave my audiences with meaningful and enduring images from my movies. That's exactly what Carla Malden achieves with her newest book.” — Michael Douglas “Carla Malden traces the awful journey of her young husband’s illness and death with such precision and care, expressing the emotion between the exhilaration of hope and the darkness of reality so powerfully, that her eloquence turns grief into poetry and enlightenment.” — Blythe Danner “Carla Malden’s memoir about her husband and screenwriting partner Laurence Starkman is a haunting story of love and loss, and a demonstration of the courage required to put a broken life together again.” — Susan Cooper, author of The Dark is Rising “All I can say is WOW!!! I read for a living which means I consume over 50 books a year just to prep for my show. Never has one made me cry until I read this manuscript. Although this is a book that will tug at your heart, it is like the tug on a fishing line when you know you’ve got a big one. I can’t wait to share it with others. I’d be honored to have author Carla Malden as a guest on my show. This is more than a book, it’s a blessing for anyone who reads it.” — Barry Kibrick, Producer and Host: Between the Lines Emotionally raw from start to finish, the story . . . also celebrates a rare and profound love that transcended death. A brutally candid memoir of the ‘all-consuming and profoundly uncomplicated’ power of grief.” —Kirkus Reviews A searing account of how the author coped with her husband’s year-long struggle with colon cancer and his untimely death. Screenwriter Malden—daughter of actor Karl Malden, with whom she wrote the memoir When Do I Start? (1997)—had been together with screenwriter Laurence Starkman from the time they were high-school students in the late 1960s. Certainly by Hollywood standards, their partnership had proven to be remarkable, and not just for its longevity, but for their deep connection. “We got each other in a way that we knew no one else ever would or could. Soul mates, they call it.” So when Starkman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006, Malden was devastated. The good—some would say “charmed”—life she had been leading with her beloved “best friend” had now turned permanently upside down. Without mincing words, the author chronicles her harsh awakening into the very human world of suffering. The day of Starkman's diagnosis, she unwillingly entered a “foreign land” in which “I [did] not speak the language.” Literacy was forced upon her through radical immersion in her husband’s unexpected health crisis. Bewildered, angry and frightened, she struggled to adjust to the demands of his metastasizing cancer, which included endless rounds of hospital visits, blood tests and chemotherapy and a fruitless search for balance and normalcy. Malden’s experiences with illness and the eventual bereavement it brought offered no glimpses into higher spiritual truths or God. For her, a universe in which cancer could strike down her vibrant husband was “random…capricious and nihilistic.” Emotionally raw from start to finish, the story makes for admittedly difficult reading. What saves it from sinking into pure melodrama are its fleeting moments of humor and the fact that it also celebrates a rare and profound love that transcended death. A brutally candid memoir of the “all-consuming and profoundly uncomplicated” power of grief. --- Kirkus Reviews From the Inside Flap “Mrs. Starkman,” said the doctor, “sit down.”Ten months, three weeks later, my husband was dead. I will say it right now, from the start, that the most I will be able to offer is this: For some inexplicable reason—at once miraculous and diabolical—the heart keeps beating even when it is irreparably broken. The eye experiences an afterimage when a bright light is extinguished. But there are also afterimages of the heart, afterimages that remain imprinted well beyond the time a beloved has died. Carla and Laurence were high school sweethearts who married, worked as screenwriting partners, and delighted in their daughter. In this beautifully told, fiercely personal account, Carla Malden traces her journey, sharing how her world shifted with her husband’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, then crumbled with his death. How, in learning to fold his absence into her life, she has carried on. An exploration of grief too soon, this book is, at its core, a love story, as all real stories of loss must be. From the Back Cover The eye experiences an afterimage when a bright light is extinguished. But there are also afterimages of the heart, afterimages that remain imprinted well beyond the time a beloved has died. In this beautifully told memoir, Carla Malden shares her journey from the time of her husband’s cancer diagnosis through his death, to folding his absence into her life and carrying on. About the Author Carla Malden has been a screenwriter and published author for over twenty years. With her father, Academy Award–winning actor Karl Malden, she coauthored his critically acclaimed memoir, When Do I Start?