Now You Are a Missing Person by Susan Hayden
Three devastating losses are at the heart of Susan Hayden’s lyrical memoir, Now You Are a Missing Person. The suddenness of each of these deaths ― her father, her childhood best friend and her husband ― sparks and guides a series of explorations to claim equilibrium and a sense of self. Stories, poems and fragments are woven together to trace Hayden’s search for identity and belonging through lovers and friends, some enduring, some ephemeral. She creates an intimate album of her life, from the 1970s to the present, evoked in an LA populated by troubadours and actors, both shining and fading. Raised in an observant Jewish family in the suburban San Fernando Valley, she struggles and finds her footing in an ever-shifting culture of expectations around body image, sexuality, motherhood, widowhood, and autonomy.
Year first published: 2023