Ten years ago, several supernatural phenomena and dreams inspired me to write a collection of vignettes. But it was mother’s death in 2016 which unconsciously drove me to write about her, my enduring impressions from childhood and the players in this collection of memories. Before I wrote this I thought I could never “access” my mother again. After writing What Matters Most, a Memoir, memory and the present are not as estranged; after writing this memoir I have given my mother back “life” within the context of those memories and dreams which remain and define my life.
On the surface, What Matters Most is a rumination on author Ann Zalkind’s relationship with her mother—but within these indelible personal reflections are universal themes with which almost anyone can identify. Both poignant and at times, chilling, Zalkind has created a memoir unlike any other in this impressionistic portrait.
With each moving, often profound vignette drawn from early recollections, Zalkind uses masterful descriptions of the supernatural and poetry and demonstrates a remarkable use of imagery, narrative, and language.
“Memorable. Terrific moods and settings with poetic language,” reads one extraordinary review on Goodreads. “The supernatural descriptions were chilling. Also moving recollections of family and lasting impressions from childhood.”
A remembrance of her mother, and also the various characters from her mother’s world, Zalkind has created a collection that draws from oftentimes difficult memories and addresses the timeless connection between life, death, and memory—and in doing so, utterly stirs the soul.