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The Lesser Tragedy of Death

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  6 reviews
"[A] brave and moving tribute to a brother gone astray; with skill, unflinching honesty, and redemptive compassion, Cristina García tracks his marvelous, complex, and errant life. . . . These poems are the beautiful, painful, astonishing result of a journey to hell and back in search of the brother she loves. With this first book of poems, García, one of our best novelists ...more
Paperback, 95 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Akashic Books (first published 2010)
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May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stunningly beautiful. And brutal.
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014, poetry
I read this primarily because I loved Natalie Diaz's poetry book When My Brother Was an Aztec. Both books are about a brother's drug use and the destruction it plays on a family and relationships. The Aztec book was much better including elements of race, poverty, homosexuality, and PTSD but this book is also well-written. One of my favorites:

"What You Dream"

No one questioned your judgement
Someone else pays the bills.

You are pursued by mythic beasts
With mythic claws and mythic teeth.

They call
Nov 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was such an interesting concept for a book. It's a short book of short poems, I read it in an evening. The poems may or may not stand alone. Together, in a collage of sorts, they tell the story of the author's brother and her relationship with him. The effect is kaleidoscopic. It is very true to how difficult relationships with people close to us really work. Every time you think it's one way, you suddenly remember it's also another way. Beautiful, honest and sparse. ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Garcia tries to make sense of her younger brother by telling his story of downfall, addiction, illness and what it means to her to know that she was there growing up with him and seeing the pieces (when unearthed) that make up who is he. There's a poignancy in her poetry that's threaded also with anger, frustration, helplessness and just acknowledgment of the complexity in being family with a person who is broken. ...more
Ms. Online
In her first book of poems, garcía (Dreaming in Cuban) proves as adept a poet as novelist. She chronicles the life of her drug-addicted, doomed brother and her own anguish as she comes to terms with the loss of her hermanoturn-of-the-19th-century friendship in a novel loosely based on papers describing the life of is precise, unembellished, evocative. now 86, the nobel prize-winner remains the white South African literary voice against oppression
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After working for Time Magazine as a researcher, reporter, and Miami bureau chief, García turned to writing fiction. Her first novel, Dreaming in Cuban (1992), received critical acclaim and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has since published her novels The Agüero Sisters (1997) and Monkey Hunting (2003), and has edited books of Cuban and other Latin American literature. Her fourth ...more

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