Phi Beta Kappa Authors's Reviews > The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story

The Art of Death by Edwidge Danticat
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Edwidge Danticat
ΦBK, Barnard College, 1990

Shortlisted for the ΦBK Christian Gauss Award, 2018

From the publisher: 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.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 20, 2018 – Shelved

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