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  • Writer's pictureSally Herships

As Many Leaves

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

"I didn't realise how physical a process grief was - like being hit by a car." One evening in the autumn of 2013, the American financial journalist and broadcaster Sally Herships received a short email from her husband telling her he was never coming home again. At first she thought it was a joke, but when she got home he and a suitcase had gone.

As Sally's life unravels, she begins to keep an audio diary. It's a way both of processing what's happened to her and of creating a support mechanism as she tries to cope with the aftermath. From the night he left, her husband cuts off all contact and Sally, broken-hearted, is tortured by a single question. Why?

"I think this is one of the stages of heartbreak. There's the ice cream stage, the comfort food stage and the doughnut stage. Maybe they all fall under comfort food, but I'm lactose intolerant so I can't really have ice cream. I'm just making up for that with doughnuts."

Sally's vulnerability, defiance and the mundane practicalities of survival are laid bare in her recordings and in her reflections on how she strove to heal herself after this seismic betrayal.

With specially composed music by Nina Perry and Danny Keane.

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4. PRESS & ADDITIONAL BROADCASTS

2017 As Many Leaves featured on Re-Sound, from the Third Coast Festival 2016 The Guardian calls As Many Leaves "an emotional, wonderful listen" 2016 The Irish News calls As Many Leaves a "Haunting chronicle of heartbreak" 2016 As Many Leaves, named one of Top 10 Podcasts of the Year, 2016 As Many Leaves featured on the BBC's Seriously Podcast 2016 This Week's Best Radio: As Many Leaves previewed in the Guardian

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