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Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and Percival Everett's Telephone has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The Art of Death

Writing the Final Story
Edwidge Danticat
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 work of astute criticism, The Art of Death is a book that will profoundly alter all who encounter it.

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A moving reflection on a subject that touches us all by the best-selling author of Claire of the Sea Light

About the Author

Edwidge  Danticat
Credit: Lynn Savarese
Edwidge Danticat is the author of many books, most recently Art of Death, Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I’m Dying. She is a two-time finalist for the National Book Award, and has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and other honors.
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  • “This book is a kind of prayer for her mother. . . . Danticat writes beautifully about fellow writers, dissecting their magic and technique with a reader’s passion and a craftsman’s appraising eye.”The New York Times
  • “What’s important about reading great writing about death—or in the case of The Art of Death, reading about reading about it—is that it teaches us how to live.”Chicago Tribune
  • “Danticat taps into such tough subject matter . . . with a trickless, spellbinding clarity. . . . This small book is a bracingly clear-eyed take on its subject.”The Boston Globe
  • “[Danticat] layers her story with other poems, memoirs, novels and essays about death, scaling the personal to wider-ranging political and ecological catastrophes. . . . Deeply felt.”Los Angeles Times
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