Can't Wait to Get to Heaven
Fannie Flagg, 2006
Eighty-something Elner Shimfissle falls off a ladder and lands in an emergency room. She vacillates between this world and the next—at one point wondering why the hospital staff is wearing green shower caps and paper booties instead of smart white uniforms. At another point Elner meets her dead sister Ida who serves as her escort to heaven. Ida berates Elner for allowing Tot Whooten, the town's favorite hair dresser, to do her casket coif. This was expressly against Ida's dying wishes.
Elner's ties go deep into the community: niece Norma and her husband Macky, Verbena, Ruby, Tots, Luther Griggs, a journalist, a lawyer and even the radio station—each reacting to Elner's accident in his own peculiar way.
Elner's death...or near death (which is it?) leads to a meditation for the living, what constitutes a good life and where it is found? Is heaven only in the next world, or can it be in this world, too?
See our Reading Guide for Can't Wait to Get to Heaven.
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