Advance Response

“I have spent my professional life telling stories. AfterImage: A Brokenhearted Memoir of a Charmed Life does exactly that and touches us where we live. It is compelling, moving, raw — with moments of surprising humor. I try to leave my audiences with meaningful and enduring images from my movies. That's exactly what Carla Malden achieves with her newest book.”
— Michael Douglas, Los Angeles - Actor, Producer 

“Malden has done something wonderful, important, moving, truthful, wise.”
— Donald Spoto - Author

“I truly want everyone to read this glorious book. I’m going to start it again tonight. Carla Malden traces her awful journey with such precision and care, expressing the emotion between the exhilaration of hope and the darkness of reality so powerfully, that her eloquence turns grief into poetry and enlightenment. As a consequence, we evolve with her into a deeper understanding of what love and the human condition are.”
— Blythe Danner, New York - Actor 

“I think anyone who has experienced the death of someone important can relate to what Carla Malden has written. It is not the “magical thinking” of Joan Didion, not even remotely. It is from the other side: the side of coping or not, of rage and stupor, of what to say (as if it could matter). I thank her for her open heart in the telling of this story punctuated with snapshots that allowed me to breathe, to feel some relief before I turned the page.”
— Laurie B., Los Angeles - Non-profit Consultant 

AfterImage gave me permission to cry. I recognized myself.”
— 87-year-old Widow, Walnut Creek Book Club Member 

“Having recently lost my husband, the timing of these words of courage and wisdom couldn't have been more perfect. Although I had to put it down to cry and digest her experience and my uncannily similar experience, it was well worth the read. In fact, I have to go a step further. This book has touched me and helped me even more than seeing a therapist for grief every few weeks! I have read passages to my sisters who asked if I would pass this book on to them so they could better understand my pain.”
— Angie W., Redlands - Documentarian 

AfterImage sustains a strong narrative — it sometimes felt like a movie which is exactly what you need for a topic like this.” 
— Dana J.-H., Los Angeles - Educator 

“We baby boomers are all at the age where we are landing on the beach at Normandy, waiting to see who’s going to make it home.”
— Stanley Brand, Washington, D.C. - Attorney 

“Carla's work is important. The details of her story reflect her unique lifestyle, location, age, and experience, but the story itself will speak to many, including people I know well. AfterImage is not necessarily disease-specific, or even gender-specific; it offers no platitudes, and a multitude of people will identify with it.”
— Roberta B., Tennessee - Educator

“An excruciating page-turner.”
— Architect, Los Angeles Book Club Member

“I loved this book and was hooked from page one. I read the entire book in one sitting — I could not put it down. A few days later I re-read the book and was even more moved by it. Carla Malden has the unique ability to capture an emotion and put the reader in the middle of the story. With simplicity, directness, and raw honesty, she manages to tell not only a story of grief, but a beautiful love story.”
— Jackie F., Manhattan Beach - Hospice Worker 

“I’ve never been married. This book made me realize what I’m holding out for — that relationships like this do exist in real life, not just in movies and books. It makes you think: if this is what it costs to have that kind of love, then okay. I loved this love.”
— Constance Tillotson, Cultural Envoy to Sri Lanka 

AfterImage is simply gut-wrenching and has had a profound effect on me ... an exceptional piece of prose that gets as close as one can to expressing true feelings and emotions using the written word. It's a tremendously generative work that can help prepare all of us for the inevitable. Malden has taken the worst adversity and successfully channeled the experience into a book that has much to teach us.”
— Kent W., Los Angeles - Social Worker 

“WOW! I read for a living which means I consume over 50 books a year just to prep for my show. Never has one made me cry until I read this manuscript. I had the privilege of first reading Carla Malden’s work when I read the memoir she co-wrote with her dad, Karl Malden, a past guest on my show. It was one of the most joyous experiences, but almost pales in comparison to her latest work. Although this is a book that will tug at your heart, it is like the tug on a fishing line when you know you’ve got a big one. I can’t wait to share it with others. I’d be honored to have author Carla Malden as a guest on my show. This is more than a book, it's a blessing for anyone who reads it.”
— Barry Kibrick, Producer/TV Host: Between the Lines

“The first time I read Carla Malden's memoir, I simply couldn't put it down. Her work speaks to me on many levels with raw truths, explaining love, anger, fear, loss, and hope with a clarity I previously believed impossible to articulate. Although my personal losses are different from hers, Carla Malden expresses feelings and pain I experienced as if she is having a personal conversation with me, sharing her anguish and thoroughly understanding mine. She is a beautiful writer with a clear, direct style, not overly sentimental but true and honest. On my second reading, I loved the manuscript even more and appreciated more fully how artfully she writes. Her work is honest, thoughtful, intense, beautiful; her talent is incredible. I continue to this day to think about what she said—her work is a powerful force.”
— Jeanne G., Manhattan Beach Book Club Member

“Carla Malden's memoir about her husband and screenwriting partner Laurence Starkman is a haunting story of love and loss, and a demonstration of the courage required to put a broken life together again.”
— Susan Cooper, Massachusetts - Author, Board Member of the National Children's Book & Literary Alliance