"I did not want to go inside, and I did not want him to drive away, but I did not stop him when he did. Instead, I waved goodbye. In all those years before my marriage, I had let him go each time. I had said no until it hurt, until he hurt, until I could not say it anymore. I had said no until the word became its own kind of religion I did not question anymore."
—from The Going and Goodbye
The Going and Goodbye is an examination of loss and leaving and the search for meaning in the memories that remain. Tracing a path through rural Ohio, the American south and small towns of Mexico, these stories breathe life into a marriage and its dissolution; find a voice that fears mortality then faces it; explore faith in the face of these losses; and ultimately reveal the power of love and letting go.
Selected as a Dayton Daily News 2017 favorite nonfiction book: "There were some lovely memoirs published, and Shuly Cawood penned my favorite one."
"Powerful writing" ~ Library Journal
"'The Going and Goodbye' is a gorgeously conceived expedition of a book. . . . If you read a lot of books then you probably know that feeling you can get when you encounter a writer who has written every single word with exquisite care and precision. . . . There are no wasted words here." ~ Yellow Springs News
"Cawood’s memoir is peppered with flashes of profundity wrapped in astute observations." ~ Latino Book Review
"This is a brave writer who moves lyrically and fearlessly toward self-knowledge, a writer who is willing to probe the darkness in the chambers of her own heart, not just the hearts of others. . . . This is a voice you can trust with your life." ~ Joyce Dyer, author of Gum-Dipped and Goosetown
"In this luminous memoir Shuly Cawood dives into the deepest of waters—health and illness, the bonds of family, intimacy and its unraveling—and emerges with a treasure. . . .The Going and Goodbye is a revelation." ~ Matthew Goodman, New York Times bestselling author
"This memoir ranges all over the past while creating a steady sense of forward motion through the narrator’s life. I think of these two streams of energy as lyric and narrative, the circling and moving forward. The two have a great dynamic here, which keeps this memoir surprising and fresh." ~ Kathryn Rhett, author of Souvenir and Immortal Village
"In this lovely memoir the narrator, although strongly rooted in a particular place, is always on the move into the unknown. … The lyrical, fluid style immediately invites the reader along for the ride. I read this with great pleasure!" ~ Bobbie Ann Mason, author of In Country
"This book is a treasure." ~ Dayton Daily News
"She takes the reader on a journey into her heart and although she takes her time, the narrative never lags. . . . It’s a prime example of how talented writers can make the specifics of their life seem universal." ~ Wild Moo Books
"Finding nonfiction that accurately captures the feeling of events both big and small can prove a challenge; however, The Going and Goodbye achieves this feat and much more." ~ New Southern Fugitives
"A moving and eloquent memoir about love, divorce, happiness, loneliness, and the lies we convince ourselves of. Without a doubt Cawood is an author I will look for in the future." ~ Goodreads reviewer
"I could not put this book down" and "Absolutely lovely, lyrical writing that pulls you in immediately." ~ Amazon reviewers
You can find future and past Author Appearances here.