Nell Zink at n+1:
IN MAY OF 2012 my mother died horribly, over the course of weeks, in a not terrifically competent hospice. It was expected to happen fast, with an anal bleed-out, but in the end she died of thirst like a normal person. I remember standing in front of a mirror, repeating to myself, with eye contact, “Daniel Pearl got off easy, Daniel Pearl got off easy,” over and over until it was burned into my brain. I knew I would repress what I had seen, but it was important to me never to forget that if given a choice between dying slowly and sawing off my own head, I should go for the option that takes less time. That is, I was going through a lot, but I couldn’t write to my usual confidant Avner about it, because his mother had died youngish, also in a protracted way, from the aftereffects of poor living conditions experienced as a tween Holocaust evader in the Soviet Union.