How to Forget

A Daughter's Memoir
Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (467 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this profoundly honest and examined memoir about returning to Iowa to care for her ailing parents, the star of Orange Is the New Black and best-selling author of Born with Teeth takes us on an unexpected journey of loss, betrayal, and the transcendent nature of a daughter’s love for her parents.

They say you can’t go home again. But when her father is diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and her mother with atypical Alzheimer’s, New York-based actress Kate Mulgrew returns to her hometown in Iowa to spend time with her parents and care for them in the time they have left.

The months Kate spends with her parents in Dubuque - by turns turbulent, tragic, and joyful - lead her to reflect on each of their lives and how they shaped her own. Those ruminations are transformed when, in the wake of their deaths, Kate uncovers long-kept secrets that challenge her understanding of the unconventional Irish Catholic household in which she was raised.

Breathtaking and powerful, laced with the author’s irreverent wit, How to Forget is a considered portrait of a mother and a father, an emotionally powerful memoir that demonstrates how love fuses children and parents, and an honest examination of family, memory, and indelible loss.

©2019 Kate Mulgrew (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about How to Forget

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Dr. Kate Mulgrew articulates end-of-life relationships fluently

As professional as her acting & as entrancing as her characters “Captain Katherine Janeway” in Star Trek & “Red” in Orange is the New Black, Dr. Kate Mulgrew’s superb writing weaves the threads of past relationships with the complexities of grown sibling & parental-offspring realities. She amazingly articulates end-of-life relationships fluently so that the listener both can relate & learn. Well written & performed.
~Dr. Chris Patricia Hafner*
(*Hafner-Eaton, 1986-2016)

15 people found this helpful

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I will read everything narrated by her

Kate Mulgrew is an amazing narrator. After listening to two of her memoirs, I have come to know that she is also a talented story writer as well.

11 people found this helpful

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really enjoyed this

I wasn't aware Kate Mulgrew was also an accomplished writer and having enjoyed her acting as Janeway and Red I thought I'd give this a shot. I always appreciate when authors give they're own voice to the audible version and this was no exception. Kate speaks truth and mirth into the story so you keep wanting to hear what's next just to get her take on it. I will make a point of finding her previous written work.

8 people found this helpful

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A Wonderful Memoir

I've now listened to both of Kate Mulgrew's books and loved them both. How to Forget is so full of vividly described personal stories. Her writing is magnificent. It made me cry and laugh and think. Her description of her mother's Alzheimer's was particularly moving. What an amazing family and well-written memoir.

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  • wd
  • 06-01-19

A beautiful, touching story

I listen to a lot of books and am rarely moved to write a review. This book is truly touching and beautiful.

4 people found this helpful

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such a fantastic book. Kate.....you are great!!!

I loved born with teeth. I loved how to forget. Amazingly truthful. Amazingly real. I could listen to you narrate the phone book! Please, write another book!!

13 people found this helpful

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Exceeded Expectations

I've always liked Kate Mulgrew as an actress, but never knew she was such a gifted writer. I was fully engrossed in this book, enjoying both the words and the narration. I was so impressed that I'll seek out her other books.

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Reads like a movie

Wonderful yet heartbreaking story. ...needed a bit of editing in some parts that languished.
But Kate Mulgrew is a fantastic storyteller and she "sets the stage" with visual details...like a movie. Actually that isn't at all surprising given her actoing acumen.

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Raw <br />

Kate Mulgrew writes and narrates her intimate memories of family during personal,emotional, heartbreaking times. The care and loss of her parents, the struggles between siblings. and the love and support of those closest.

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Tear Jerker

Kate's dramatic voice brings me to tears every time! Great book and look into the life of marriage illness and death.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Darren
  • 10-20-19

kept my addicted to the end

having read 'Born with teeth', I half expected this to be just a rehash of the same material but it isn't. Some of the same topics are there but it's cleverly written and with more depth.

This book is a lovely long journey well worth taking, written with love and full of emotion.

Highly reccomend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-24-20

How we are drawn to the truth.

Keep writing.I love your honest take on growing old and its afflictions.from an irish Cailín

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  • rebecca t.
  • 07-27-20

Just as Emotive and Enthralling as Born With Teeth

When Kate Mulgrew towards the end of the book descrives her husband telling her of her Mother's pride is describing her as an accomplished theatre actor I was in full agreement with her delight in hearing that truth. I loved the autobiography, its dazzling honesty and charm but the trading of this incredible journey through the loss of parents I found compelling and touching and thoroughly relatable. I will be listening to everything Kate records just as I eagerly devour all her acting performances!

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  • Emma
  • 01-26-20

Hauntingly beautiful

Fantastic and honest, the only way Kate Mulgrew knows how to be, heart breaking and funny all at the same time. You get a glimpse in to the characters of her parents and family through the good times and those that can easily destroy a family.
Wonderful book

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  • Teresa
  • 12-07-19

Poignant and unforgettable

A beautifully read, honest and heartbreaking account of a family that had endured much sadness over the years. I believe Kate Mulgrew is an amazing writer and narrator, and the love for her parents, siblings, her children and Lucy and Javier shine through in a way that if the book had been narrated by anyone else, would have been lost.
This book could have been a depressing experience, but with Kate’s honesty and humour it was an uplifting, interesting and unforgettable read, and I expect to return to it again and again.

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  • mr s j w dax
  • 06-15-19

A worthy follow up to Born With Teeth

Beautifully written and honest look at one’s parents. Looking honestly at their struggles there triumphs, faults and strengths. And a child’s relationship with their parents over a lifetime and coming to terms with losing the ones they love. Well worth listening too.

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  • Amanda E.
  • 05-24-20

The perfect follow up to Born With Teeth...

A beautiful narration continuing on from Kate's memoir Born With Teeth, this time focusing on her relationships with her parents, and their's with one another. Highly recommended reading.

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  • Lexi
  • 10-31-19

highly enjoyable

I enjoyed this book as much as her first if not more so. I tenderly written love letter to her parents and family and an interesting window into the life of a fascinating woman.