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Should I Still Wish: A Memoir
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Should I Still Wish: A Memoir

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4.39  ·  Rating details ·  18 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In this candid and moving memoir, John W. Evans articulates the complicated joys of falling in love again as a young widower. Though heartbroken after his wife’s violent death, Evans realizes that he cannot remain inconsolable and adrift, living with his in-laws in Indiana. Motivated by a small red X on a map, Evans musters the courage for a cross-country trip. From the Ba ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published January 1st 2017 by University of Nebraska Press
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Monica
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm slightly biased because I knew John in college, but this book is a fascinating retreat into grief and happiness and the complexities of both.
Kate
Feb 18, 2017 added it
Shelves: memoir
A beautifully written meditation on life and love after enduring a traumatic life event.
Janine Sahm
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Charming, hopeful even when filled with self-doubt. An example of moving forward and through, maybe imperfectly, but always with love and humanity.

On a personal note, having agoraphobia and panic disorder myself, Evans' descriptions of what I assume are PTSD panic attacks resonated deeply, made me want to reach out and offer a shoulder or an ear. His sharing of the continued difficulties makes his unrelenting striving for family and love all the more precious and inspiring.
Lisa
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
By page three, I had already fallen in love with John Evans, with his new love Cait, and with his conflicted, confused, yet enduring drive toward life.

Should I Still Wish is an expedition into the terrifying joy of fatherhood, of love, and of choosing to live in spite of the fear.

By refusing to simplify his emotions, Mr. Evans allows his readers to see the beauty in our own inner chaos.
Mary E Trimble
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
John W. Evans’ Should I Still Wish is a sequel to his first memoir, Young Widower. In the first book, Evans tells the horrific story of his wife Katie being mauled to death by a brown bear in Romania, and his subsequent grief, guilt and adjustment.

In Should I Still Wish Evans renews a friendship with Cait, whom he also met ten years earlier while serving with the Peace Corps in Bangladesh. The memoir begins one year after the violent death of his first wife.

John and Cait eventually marry and hav
...more
Anne
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Should I Still Wish is the second book that I have read by John Evans. In this most recent book, Evans grapples with more difficult and morally ambiguous issues than he confronted in Young Widower. In his first prose book, Evans’ reader was gifted insight into the choice of a person struggling with incomprehensible tragedy to give up or move on – and cheered for Evans as he made the decision to go forward with his life and rejoin the world of the living. In Should I Still Wish, as in Young Widow ...more
Jessica
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoirs
Reading memoirs is a bit like slowing down at the scene of a crash -- we want to see, we don’t want to see. If we happen to catch a glimpse of someone strapped to a gurney, it’s still not enough: we want at once to know why they crashed, whether they’ll walk again, how many kids were in the car. In Young Widower: A Memoir, Evans offered us a tour of the wrecked car; he told us again and again what he remembered, what he understood to be true, and what would never make sense. In Should I Still Wi ...more
Mary
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absoluetly LOVE John Evan's writing style, and I loved this book. It is a beautiful book about grief, but also about hope and how one picks up the pieces and starts a new life for himself. I love the way he weaves storytelling and reflection, memory and fact. This book moved me deeply and I was so struck by John's optimism and desire to heal in the face of such tragedy. I would have to pause after each chapter to really take a moment to soak in all the goodness of his words and his story. This ...more
Mark Walker
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
John Evans’ moving memoir reads like a Greek tragedy with deep Peace Corps roots. Should I Still Wish is the second of his books to tell a story in Bangladesh where he served with his wife, Katie, as well as his second wife, Cate, all of whom were part of the “Peace Corps Tribe.” The first book, Young Widowers tells a dreadful tale of his wife being mauled to death by a brown bear in the Carpathian Mountains while they were working for a year in Romania. The unfairness of this loss and the bruta ...more
Bill Briggs
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my second book by the author that I have read. It is very apparent that as he has matured, so has his writing skill. Evans is efficient with his words while also providing a full picture of the changes that he was undergoing on his journey. There are treats of sentences throughout his latest work that take few precious words but convey so much meaning. And example of this is when he talks about biking in one of the national parks on his journey to California. He notes that he bikes the s ...more
Jose
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm more at 2.5 stars, but I round up.

The first half of this short memoir was hard for me to get. It was kind of incoherent, in my opinion, but then I get the feeling that I didn't understand it because I haven't lived enough to come close to understanding. Maybe one day it will make sense to me.

After "The Big House", the tone changed. The most beautiful pieces of writing were the last few sections as a whole. I think I could identify with them because it dealt with the "what-ifs" of life that
...more
Arja Salafranca
Aug 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Should I Still Wish by John W Evans follows on his previous memoir, Young Widower, in which recounts the story of losing his wife, who was thirty, to a bear attack. He was twenty-nine at the time. I haven’t read that earlier memoir. In this book, Evans writes about falling in love again as a widower, and the complicated mix of grief, guilt and love that accompanies it. There’s a happy ending and Evans looks back on his the violent ending of his first marriage, his subsequent remarriage and the b ...more
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John W. Evans is the author of two memoirs, a poetry collection, and two poetry chapbooks. His books have won prizes including the Peace Corps Writers Book Prize, a ForeWord Reviews Book Prize, the River Teeth Book Prize, and the Trio Award. His writing appears in Slate, The Missouri Review, Boston Review, ZYZZYVA, The Rumpus, and Best American Essays. He teaches creative writing at Stanford Unive ...more
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