Picture of the physical book


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.

Featured in Episode 22 of the Book Cougars Podcast.

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 writing is beautiful, both spare and lush, and the wisdom to be discovered there is genuine and hard won. The Going and Goodbye is a revelation. ~ Matthew Goodman, New York Times bestselling author

These true stories about love and loss will recalibrate your heart. … There’s language that surprises and stuns, that forces you to catch your breath again and again and holds the very rhythm of sensation. … 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. Hope in this book is realistic and hard-won. This is a voice you can trust with your life. ~ Joyce Dyer, author of Gum-Dipped and Goosetown

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

Powerful writing that reminds readers the time with loved ones is both precious and limited. ~ Rachael Dreyer, reviewed in Library Journal

[The Going and Goodbye] is peppered with flashes of profundity wrapped in astute observations. ~ Rodney Gómez, reviewed in Latino Book Review

Cawood’s writing [is] beautifully spare throughout this volume. ~ Karen Elias, reviewed in The Main Street Rag

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. ~ Kelsey Asher, reviewed in The New Southern Fugitives

Each pithy chapter has the vibe of a classic black and white photograph. ~ Book Nook on WYSO 91.3FM

[Cawood] 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. ~ Chris Wolak, reviewed in WildmooBooks

The Going and Goodbye is a gorgeously conceived expedition of a book. ~ Vick Mickunas, reviewed in Yellow Spings News (read full review here)

# First edition, limited print run – $10.00 (Press Kit)


Rob had pale skin, like winter, thick eyebrows and green eyes the shade of a sea I had only seen in pictures. I had long dark hair and slender fingers that might have played piano well but did not, and a dimple that only appeared when I smiled. We were both twenty-eight and had known each other for five months. Days before that amusement park ride, we had decided to spend our lives together.

I was the one who had seen the ride and wanted to try it. I thought I knew exactly what it would be like. I often thought that then—that I could guess the future and be right. Now I look back on that day—and so many others before and after—and wonder at all the things I missed.