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Mother, Poet Reflects On Her Last Days in 'The Bright Hour'

Picture of Nina Riggs
Toni Tronu

Nina Riggs was not surprised when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She knew the disease ran in her family, and she’d spent years watching her mother battle cancer. Once Riggs’ cancer turned metastatic and incurable, she decided to reflect through writing.

Cover of "The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying"
Credit Simon & Schuster -2017

Riggs was a poet, but decided to shift to narrative writing as she chronicled her experience with cancer as a mother, wife and daughter. Her writings gained in popularity and in September 2016 she had a piece published in The New York Times “Modern Love” column. That column sparked a full-length memoir.

Riggs was able to finish her book before she died earlier this year. The book is called “The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying” (Simon & Schuster/2017). Guest host Anita Rao talks with John Duberstein, Riggs’ husband, about the memoir and Riggs’ battle with cancer.

Duberstein speaks at Tuesday, June 20 at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro at 7 p.m.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.