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The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story

The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story

by

A moving reflection on a subject that touches us all, by the bestselling author of Claire of the Sea Light

Edwidge Danticat’s The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story is at once a personal account of her mother dying from cancer and a deeply considered reckoning with the ways that other writers have approached death in their own work. “Writing has been the primary way I have tried to make sense of my losses,” Danticat notes in her introduction. “I have been writing about death for as long as I have been writing.”

The book moves outward from the shock of her mother’s diagnosis and sifts through Danticat’s writing life and personal history, all the while shifting fluidly from examples that range from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude to Toni Morrison’s Sula. The narrative, which continually circles the many incarnations of death from individual to large-scale catastrophes, culminates in a beautiful, heartrending prayer in the voice of Danticat’s mother. A moving tribute and a work of astute criticism, The Art of Death is a book that will profoundly alter all who encounter it.

Title:The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story
ISBN:1555977774
Format Type:
Number of Pages:160 pages
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    The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story Reviews

  • David Dacosta

    It’s a monumental thing to lose your mother. Having that shared experience with Edwidge Danticat, this became an instant must read. Sure, the idea of a book, however brief, dedicated solely to the i...

  • John

    An excellent, deeply moving resource for writers who wish to write about death and dying....

  • Tia

    I read this book in one day, in one sitting (punctuated by the living tasks of eating and such), feeling less like I was reading a memoir (or a piece of literary criticism) and more like I was sitting...

  • Lisa

    Beautiful...

  • Ming

    A few favorite quotes:"I don't know much about my mother's childhood because she never liked to talk about it. The fact that I know so little about her early life means that I will not be able to full...

  • Georgina Lara

    I've never been particularly afraid to die. A painful death or prolonged suffering, sure, but I think I've made my peace with the fact that I will not be here someday. What I have been scared most of ...

  • S.W. Gordon

    This is my 8th Dandicot book and won't be my last. She is an amazing thinker and I enjoyed this all-to-brief glimpse into her mind. I'm still giggling about the "momoir" genre she mentioned. The bibli...

  • Milton Brasher-Cunningham

    This is the latest volume in Graywolf Press' "The Art of . . ." series. Danticat does a wonderful job at looking at the various ways writers, both fiction and nonfiction, write about death. Her exampl...

  • Jean Kelly

    This is much more that the story of the author's response to her mother's death. She takes us through the writings of many authors, current and past, and how they deal with and think of death - person...

  • Michelle

    As much critical essay as it is memoir. Danticat elegantly explores the relationship between writing and death, both for herself and other authors. An interesting counterpoint to Joan Didion's famous ...