Good grief

by | Apr 15, 2011 | Blog, Memoir | 0 comments

Though I was among those who thought I had said in public all I want to say about grief, a spate of new publications on the subject has challenged my silence. All I’m doing in this post is listing the three books I want to inhale immediately, and why.

(I’m trying to draft new chapters of my own right now and between that and apartment-hunting and the endless hustle for freelance writing jobs, this blog has been sorely neglected. I know, “it’s all about platform” goes the refrain from editors and agents…a platform being some actual/virtual ground such as a blog from which you build your public profile and allegedly increase your chances of a book being sold, and even more allegedly of said published book being bought. But honestly, unless you have some credibility OR a novelty concept – the bestselling blank book on what men think about other than sex, or the I-can-something-cheeseburger crowd, you – I mean I – must be serious about getting the writing work done in the first place.)

One writer of a new book about grief, Megan O’Rourke, has credibility to burn. A New York Times reviewer, Paris Review poetry editor and Slate cultural critic, O’Rourke already has one poetry volume under her belt and a second one due later this year. In The Long Goodbye, she tracks her mother’s death from cancer and her own grief. I am yet to see a bad review of this book, so it’s at the top of my must-read list.

Next is a toss-up between a memoir parading as a novel – Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name – and a memoir by a prolific novelist – Joyce Carol Oates’s A Widow’s Story. Both are written by bereaved spouses. In Goldman’s case, he lost his much younger wife Aurora, in a sudden accident at the beach not long into their marriage. Oates’s book is about her 40-year marriage and its sudden end, though in Janet Maslin’s review she questioned some key information missing from the author’s account – the most notable being that 11 months after her first husband’s death Oates was engaged to her second.

“Omissions are not accidents”, wrote the poet Marianne Moore.

Check out what my clients are saying…

error: Content is protected !!
Share This