Leaving Parma Blurb
Angie begins Leaving Parma with the combat death of her uncle in Vietnam before she was born, and its effect on her family and the people of the small town of Parma, Idaho. Her memoir does not proceed in the linear fashion of a chronicle. It is of spiral construction like the shell of a nautilus, weaving a deft selection of scenes of three generations of family and the people of Parma, is ultimately about what is wrought in our souls by the powerful engine of loss.
With the death of her uncle in Vietnam as a central starting point, she moves around and away from it in point of view, always looking at it from a different aspect, not just from her own vantage point, but trying to understand both the experience of the people close to her and of those whose acquaintance she has never made.
As the conch of the nautilus expands around its center, becomes fuller, so does Angie’s exploration into the consequences of loss on the human spirit, the effects of death and illness and injury and the break up of the family. At the end of her inquiry, we are left with a sharing of life experience, not the experience of one life. She has moved from her family’s losses to illuminate the meaning of loss for us all. Leaving Parma is unique in the manner in which its intense and personal nature has been interpreted in the illustrations by the graphic artist Valen.