Read The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story Online Free - 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|
|Number of Pages||:||160 pages|
August 22, 2017
One of those "tiny" books, dimension-wise, The Art of Death is a quick read. What art is there in dying, you ask? Well, Danticat is more about the literary treatment of death in all its manifestations (alone, together, by accident, by your own hand, by murderers, etc.). Thus, the book offers many...
July 08, 2017
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 idea of death is not for everyone. But Danticat manages to keep the content elevated above the threa...
June 18, 2017
An excellent, deeply moving resource for writers who wish to write about death and dying.
July 12, 2017
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 across the table from Danticat, listening to her discuss her death with the sort of casual-but-s...
September 06, 2017
I read The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story while I was working on my own essay about maternal death. This was somewhat serendipitously as I wasn’t in the SoHo bookstore searching for inspiration. I was only killing time. Using the air conditioned space, lingering as I was waiting for my din...
August 12, 2017
August 10, 2017
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 fully reconstruct her on the page. But I have already created fictional versions of my mother, taking...
August 19, 2017
As someone who has appreciated Danticat's novels, often about her native Haiti, and someone who teaches a course on death, I anticipated this short book, which touches on many of the writers who are in my death course, Christopher Hitchens, Leo Tolstoy, Joan Didion, C.S. Lewis and Susan Sontag. W...
September 05, 2017
This book is part of “The Art of” series for writers. Danticat explores how death has been written about in fiction and non-fiction, using many examples from classic and contemporary literature. She shares her experience of her mother’s death to explore culture, ritual, and expectations surroundi...
July 23, 2017
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 my life is losing those I love the most. When I was a teenager I tried to make a pact with God: i...