Download The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading Audiobook

The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading Audiobook, by Anne Gisleson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Anne Gisleson Narrator: Anne Gisleson Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2017 ISBN: 9781478938316
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Memoir of a year in the author’s own existential book club as she grapples with huge familial loss

Anne Gisleson’s adult life was gouged with crises, from the suicide of two twin sisters within two years, to the devastating wake of Hurricane Katrina, when her friend Chris proposed a philosophical exploration. Bound by the limits of adulthood responsibilities and time, Anne agreed on the condition of it being a group social venture. With no shortage of friends in need of some existential guidance and reassurance, Anne and Chris launched the Existential Crisis Reading Group.

From Epicurus to Cheever to Tolstoy to Lispector, each chapter in The Futilitarians represents the text chosen for the month in a year of discussion. When Anne’s dad dies within weeks of the group’s first meeting, the gatherings take on an added importance, and Anne credits the monthly meeting for shaping the way she experiences her father’s death, and all the issues that spiraled out of it: identity, mortality, parenting, growing up and living in New Orleans, a “walled city” of its own, and especially her finally grappling with the deaths of her sisters.

The Futilitarians is a memoir by a woman deeply committed to exploring questions of human existence, not alone, but with her adult friends. It is a guide to living curiously and fully, and ultimately asks us “How do we keep moving forward amid all this loss and threat?” Anne tells us: “One answer is, we do it together.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Boozy, brilliant, beautiful, tragic, and deeply affecting, The Futilitarians is my favorite memoir of the year.”

    Jami Attenberg, New York Times bestselling author

  • “After Katrina, New Orleanians became experts in resilience. Anne Gisleson has captured that spirit poignantly in The Futilitarians, which explores how we can find meaning in our lives by struggling back from tragedies. Whether as communities or as individuals, she shows, we do it by holding hands and moving forward together.”

    Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “This is a shattering and very important book and will, if there is justice (and there must be justice), be considered one of the best books of this year. There is an ocean of hurt here, but Gisleson manages to sail through it and show us everything that’s beautiful about this sea of pain. If you love existential literature, or New Orleans, or your family, or are curious about the meaning of life, then you will find The Futilitarians to be an essential book.”

    Dave Eggers, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An engrossing memoir chronicles a search for spiritual healing…A graceful narrative that seamlessly interweaves philosophical reflections and intimate revelations.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Anne Gisleson is a writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Oxford American, The Believer, Ecotone, The Los Angeles Times, and has been selected for inclusion in several anthologies, including Best American Non-Required Reading. For years, Anne was chair of the Creative Writing Program at the internationally-renowned New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. In 2005, she co-founded Antenna in New Orleans, where she lives.