LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Unlikely Heroes

Emily, Alone
Stewart O’Nan emily alone

In Emily, Alone, Emily is an 80-year-old woman facing the many challenges of senior citizenship. Her children have grown and moved away, busy with their own families. At times, Emily feels lonely and isolated. Her husband and many of her friends have died. She’s grown weary of attending funerals. She has health issues of her own, yet cares for a friend who has suffered from a stroke. Even her dog deals with the realities of old age.  But Emily still has things she’d like to do; goals she would like to accomplish. And she sets out to do them. The world would not consider Emily to be a hero. The world mostly ignores people like her. Nor does Emily consider herself a hero. But I see her as a hero because of her fierce determination to live out fully whatever time she has remaining. Despite the difficulties facing her, Emily chooses to overcome what she is able and set aside the rest.

-Angie Dilmore