Spotlight on: Were You Close? by Anne Pinkerton


Congratulations to Anne Pinkerton and Vine Leaves Press on the release of Were You Close?, a book that challenges the cultural notion that the bereaved can or should simply “get over” their losses.

“A masterful guide to loving and losing the extraordinary among us.” ~Mary E. Plouffe Ph.D., author of I Know It in My Heart: Walking through Grief with a Child

Were You Close? by Anne Pinkerton

NEW RELEASE: April 11, 2023
From $6.49  

A successful radiologist and elite athlete, Dr. Dave tended to the blistered feet of strangers on racecourses and gave away many of his trophies. He was appreciated for his generosity and camaraderie with family, friends, colleagues, and adventure-racing teammates, the latter of whom usually accompanied him on excursions. But he embarked on his final pursuit alone—an attempt to summit all fifty-four of the fourteeners in Colorado—and made an unknowable error that caused him to fall two hundred feet to his death. 

When people learned that he had died, they often asked his sister, the only girl and the baby of the family, “Were you close?” The question, seemingly straightforward, haunted her and begged for a deeper answer, requiring an exploration that took a decade. She invites the reader along on her own journey as she searches for a greater understanding about who her brother was, why his passions were worth risking everything, and how to carry on in the world and in her family without him, ultimately becoming even closer to him in death than in life.
Were You Close? challenges the cultural notion that the bereaved can or should simply “get over” their losses, illustrating that integrating these experiences can actually help a mourner not just heal, but move forward with clarified purpose.
Praise for Were You Close?
“An achingly candid debut memoir...written with tenderness and reverence.” ~Melanie Brooks, author of A Hard Silence

“Challenges such misconceptions [of grief] by bringing her brother, David, and the pain of his death to the page, illuminating just how enormous this loss is.” ~Ann Hood, author of Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

“With the energy, skill, muscle, and bravery that powered her beloved late brother as an elite extreme adventurer, Anne Pinkerton's Were You Close? is as much map as memoir illustrating how the author scaled her personal mountain range of grief.” ~Suzanne Strempek Shea, author of Songs from a Lead-Lined Room: Notes—High and Low—from My Journey through Breast Cancer and Radiation

About the Author
Anne Pinkerton studied poetry at Hampshire College and received an MFA in creative nonfiction from Bay Path University. Her writing often focuses on making sense of challenging life experiences; significant themes include loss, illness, grief, and coping. She has been published in Modern Loss, Hippocampus Magazine, Entropy, Ars Medica, Lunch Ticket, The Bark, the anthology The Pandemic Midlife Crisis: Gen X Women on the Brink, and elsewhere. Were You Close? was a semi-finalist for the 2019 River Teeth Book Prize. Pinkerton lives in western Massachusetts where she works as a marketing communications professional. Visit
About the Publisher
Vine Leaves Press likes to blur the line between commercial and experimental works. They publish book-length vignette collections, writing reference books, short story collections, memoir/autobiography, and character-driven novels with a literary bent.​ Subscribe to the Vine Leaves Press newsletter to receive FREE advanced review copies of upcoming new releases, news about their authors and subscribers, and/or to read the monthly opinion column, SPILL IT! or a daily dose of 50-word stories. Learn more at

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