Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Five top books for helping with loss

Diana Evans is the award-winning author of Ordinary People, The Wonder and 26a. Her prize nominations include the Guardian and Commonwealth Best First Book awards, and she was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers. Ordinary People was nominated for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction, selected in The New Yorker Best Books of 2018, and has been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Rathbones Folio Prize.

At the Guardian Evans tagged five books for helping with loss, including:
There are different kinds of loss – of self, of someone else, of a dream. Sometimes a book can speak across these boundaries, reaching out from the particularities of a singular experience to address broader themes. A few years ago I lost my father, someone towards whom my emotions were complex, and it was Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment that worked as a kindness and offered an understanding of what exactly was, or could be, happening within – though she was writing not about death, but about a woman being deserted by her husband. Death does feel like desertion, and the way to address it is to find where one’s feet are placed on the ground, to walk newly alone, temporarily clipped, which this protagonist eventually does, with her anger and pride and dismay. We are taken along the entire journey, and we see that it is in facing her loss, observing and absorbing what is left, and waiting for herself on the other side of the chasm, that she reaches a place of redemption – a return to a truer, strengthened self.
Read about another book Evans tagged.

The Days of Abandonment is among Claudia Dey's six favorite instances of dogs in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue