What’s the book about suicide with the plunger on the cover?

fso coverIt’s this: Figuring Shit Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival, my memoir of the first rough (in all ways) year after the suicide of my husband of 20 years, author and journalist Christopher D. Ringwald.  He died; my children and I coped, sometimes expelling tears and snot, sometimes expelling laughter. And life unfolded before us, changed but still rich with blessings.

It was released in October 2014 by Behler Publications.

In case it’s not obvious, Figuring Sh!t Out is not a book about a light or happy subject. Nonetheless, I have never laughed so often or so loudly while reading a book about something so devastating, and that’s the genius of Amy Biancolli’s writing. She made me cry plenty, too–don’t get me wrong. But in this collection of short chapter snapshots of her life in the year or so following her husband’s suicide, laughter reigns. “Maybe” she writes at one point, “laughter is it . . . Maybe laughter is the only bridge we have between the light and the dark, the joy and the pain.”  -Mid-Atlantic Librarian

Figuring Sh!t Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival is a warm and welcome addition to the growing literature on surviving suicide. . . .Biancolli offers no advice or pat solutions for dealing with suicide and clearly recognizes that the pain that she and her family have experienced will never completely go away. But in the process she provides an excellent guide to surviving suicide with grace and grit and a willingness to embrace life in all its joys and sorrows.”  – David N. Miller, PhD, American Association of Suicidology

11 thoughts on “What’s the book about suicide with the plunger on the cover?

  1. Oh. My. God One of the best books I have ever read. I cried when I finished…because there was no more to read! I also cried while reading it, as well as truly Laughed Out Loud! And paused, and took in some of her wisdom.
    This thing called life…it is precious.

  2. Dear Amy, I just finished your book and it was a wonderful, irreverent, touching book that spoke directly to me. I commend you for writing this because your words have helped me through the suicide of my husband only six weeks ago. There were parts that described so perfectly the utter jumble of feelings associated with the suicide of a loved one. I hope you get this note.

  3. Is this really “you,” (Amy Biancolli)? Or a fan that’s written about your work? I’ll write as if it’s you –

    I am listening to your Ted Talks, now. I also am writing (my first book,) I’m pursuing a memoir, I think. I just know I am meant to write it, as I feel lead by God’s blessing to do so. I’m writing about depression and suicide and hope, also. I could ramble about why and how it is happening, but I think unfortunately, we are always experiencing this shit of death, and then the crap of suicide, of loved ones.

    I stumbled upon your Ted Talks talk, and I absolutely thank you for sharing it. I identify with it so, so much. If you have any room in your life to offer words of advice to a fellow writer and aspiring author, I’d love to chat with you.

    Many blessings to you always! Love and Light, Jes.

  4. I lost my only sibling to suicide recently. He was 37, I’m 34. It’s hard to find good resources for when you lose a sibling to suicide. Then I found you! I appreciate your words and how you can say exactly what I needed to hear through a book or through a Ted talk. I feel understood. Peace.

    • Oh, Rachel, I’m so sorry — for your loss, and for my delay in responding. (I hadn’t checked my blog in a while.) Bless you and your brother; I’m grateful my story made you feel a little less alone. And take care!

  5. Amy, I attended the Writing Life event at the Heart Media Center earlier this week and looked forward to buying your book, as I was familiar with your story from your column in the TU. As a fledgling memoirist, I’m always on the lookout for a good memoir. Yours wasn’t good. It was hilarious and moving and wise, and your unique voice was enthralling. You taught me that if I ever experience a tragic loss of any kind, I will survive and I won’t have to do it any other way than the right way for me.

    • Karen, thank you so much — and I’m so sorry I’m not seeing your comment until now, as I haven’t done much with my blog of late. I am so grateful to you for reading my stuff, whether it’s in the TU or my FSO book. Like everyone else in this world, I’m just doing my best to fumble forward.

      Anyway, thanks again. And bless you!

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