Memoir and Southwest

$19.95 paperback
978-0-8263-5366-5

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Leaving Tinkertown


Tanya Ward Goodman

Winner of the 2015 Zia Book Award from New Mexico Press Women

Winner of the 2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards for Biography (New Mexico subject), First Book, and Best Book

Winner of the 2012–2013 Sarton Memoir Award from the Story Circle Network

2013 Southwest Books of the Year

When Tanya Ward Goodman came home to New Mexico to visit her dad at the end of 1996, he was fifty-five years old and just beginning to show symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease that would kill him six years later. Early onset dementia is a shock and a challenge to every family, but the Wards were not an ordinary family. Ross Ward was an eccentric artist and collector whose unique museum, Tinkertown, brought visitors from all over the world to the Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque. In this book Tanya tells Ross’s story and her own, sharing the tragedy and the unexpected comedy of caring for this funny, stubborn man who remained a talented artist even as he changed before his family’s eyes.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Tanya Ward Goodman’s essays have appeared in the Cup of Comfort anthology series, Literary Mama, The Huffington Post, and TheNextFamily.com. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two children.

ACCLAIM

"This is a beautiful and gentle portrait of a wonderful man with a terrible disease, and of the love his family brings to dealing with that disease. The story is written with exquisite clarity and simplicity, humor, and insight that is moving and truly instructive at the same time. Leaving Tinkertown is a compassionate, and thoroughly entertaining memoir about growing old, and also about growing up, and about letting go. Though not sentimental, it reeks of love and true intimacy. it also describes a magical carnival world, the man who built that world, and the family who made it work. In all, this is one of the most special books I have read in a long while, and I will give it to many friends as a true gift from the heart."

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John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War and On Top of Spoon Mountain



"This memoir is a lovely rendering of the pain and difficulty involved in watching a beloved parent succumb to Alzheimer's Disease. But more subtly and importantly, it's about the benefits and detriments of an eccentric childhood. Tanya Ward Goodman writes about both subjects with full sincerity and great humor."

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Neal Pollack, author of Alternadad and Stretch



Leaving Tinkertown will crack you up, make you cry, grip your heart, and move you to live to the absolute hilt.

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Heather King, author of Parched and Shirt of Flame



"Tanya Ward Goodman, writing with a big heart, clear eyes, and a light touch, allows us a privileged glimpse into the shabby, enchanted world of traveling carnivals, roadside attractions, and a beloved, eccentric father’s descent into Alzheimers. Just as her dad animated the handcarved, miniature western world of Tinkertown from coat hangers, inner tubes and old sewing machine motors, Tanya Ward Goodman has fashioned her complex and often hilarious memories into a beguiling, wry, and moving work of art."

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Michelle Huneven, author of Blame



"Tanya Ward Goodman has written a book full of light and love, about a thoroughly modern family who find unique connections amid complicated loss. This book is not just a testimony to the influence of the larger-than-life father whose existence -- and illness -- power the narrative, it is also a statement about the luminous presence that same man leaves behind in all those he loved and who loved him. Leaving Tinkertown teaches us about devotion, loyalty and inheritance, and all their profoundest truths."

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Vicki Forman, author of This Lovely Life, winner of the PEN Center Award for Creative Nonfiction and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize



“Goodman writes beautifully. The characters are well drawn, compelling, and convincing. Most importantly, the book has genuine emotional power, which builds as the story unfolds, even though how it will end is understood from the beginning.”

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Frank Huyler, author of The Blood of Strangers




6 x 9 in. 232 pages 24 halftones