Journey to the Edge of the Light: A Story of Love, Leukemia and Transformation


Cristina Nehring

Journey to the Edge of the Light
Editions:Kindle: $ 1.99
Pages: 24

She was a romantic and a globetrotter, a daredevil and a writer on the edge of literary fame. Then her life was irreversibly transformed—and so was her philosophy. In this wholly unexpected personal account, the author of A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-first Century (2009) offers us a Vindication of Life as inspiring as it is heartbreaking. The story of Cristina and her little daughter, Eurydice, is a tale of redemption and self-reinvention. It is about expanding definitions of love--and it is about confronting death. Not least, it speaks to us of life’s sweeping ironies: Sometimes bad luck is the new good luck, and the realization of your worst fears may be the greatest gift you can receive.

Biography: Nehring first acquired national attention through her fiery criticism in the pages of Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Book Review. A "compassionate contrarian," she won many awards for her politically incorrect cultural and literary essays. Her first book, A Vindication of Love (Harper Collins, 2009) argues for a bolder, braver, wilder form of modern loving, drawing extensively on literary and historical analysis. It was published to wide acclaim and translated into several languages. Nehring also works as a travel writer for Condé Nast Traveler, and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in Paris and Los Angeles.

Reviews:Charles Stringham on Amazon wrote:

Cristina Nehring, whose "vindication" of consuming romantic love made a controversial stir last year, has begun to narrate an altogether different kind of love story. At the precise moment she learned that her book had been vaulted into the rarefied heights of serious public attention, she was also informed that her newborn daughter Eurydice had Downs syndrome-- and a related form of leukemia that would require extensive, long-term residential treatment. Nehring candidly admits she never intended to have children and that when she learned she was pregnant in consequence of a world-eclipsing love affair, every concerned friend and advocate she knew advised strongly against bringing the child to term. Something deeper in Nehring knew otherwise, and she is now in the second year of service of a love she finds more more sustaining than even that of the heroic lovers she celebrated in her first book.

The care and tending of Eurydice through the course of extended months of hospital care, invasive needles into her daughter's delicate vessels, the daily administering of necessary but nauseatingly toxic chemotherapy medicines-- could be the stuff of unreadable bathos. But in Nehring's case, it is miraculously otherwise. She is in love with this child, a love clearly requited. There is no martyrdom here, just dedication and an admirable openness to the next surprising thing. At this brief narrative's conclusion, there is hope and light on the horizon. Nehring has in mind a book-length treatment to come. Like this published preview, it will, I believe, be transporting. The details, the particulars can be heart- breaking. But the force of Nehring's love and the quality of attention paid to the winsome Eurydice is like nothing I have read before. Nehring may well be charting new emotional territory here, and it is most becoming.

Gail D. Reineke on Goodreads wrote:

Poignant, immersive, yet down-to-earth in the parallels drawn between types of love. But what makes this so grand is the pure joy and love for life this little girl has.

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