A Story of Love, Loss, and Life After Death
Author: Sukey Forbes
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A woman born to privilege as part of a well-known New England family discusses how she learned to live again after losing her young daughter to a rare genetic disease and found ways to reconnect with her in the afterlife through clairvoyants.
Author: Mary Allen
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"A love story, a memoir, a haunting tale of grief and healing. This book is all that and more." --Chicago Tribune In the tradition of Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted and Caroline Knapp's Drinking: A Love Story, Mary Allen tells a riveting love story that explores the uncharted territory between passion and addiction, grief and madness, this world and the next. When Mary Allen falls in love with Jim Beaman, she doesn't know he has a drug problem, but she does sense demons and angels around him, like "a disturbance in the air, a sound just beyond the register of human hearing." And when Jim--discouraged and depressed, struggling with his addiction--kills himself a year into their relationship, Allen is unable to let him go. In her desperate attempts to recover from the loss, she uses a Ouija board and automatic writing to pull back from reality into the dark recesses of her mind, where she believes she can find him. The result is a mesmerizing trip across the boundaries between this world and the afterlife, a journey that leads her to the brink of insanity and ultimately back to herself. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A True Story of the Hand of Providence and Evidence of Life after Death
Author: William Peter Blatty
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
A New York Times Bestseller! For those who have lost a loved one to that liar and fraud named Death. So reads the dedication of William Peter Blatty's Finding Peter, a deeply moving memoir that tests the bounds of grief, love, and the soul. Blatty, the bestselling author and Oscar Award–winning screenwriter of The Exorcist, lived a charmed life among the elite stars of Hollywood. His son Peter, born over a decade after The Exorcist, grew from an apple-cheeked boy into an "imposing young man with a quick, warm smile." But when Peter died very suddenly from a rare disorder, Blatty's world turned upside down. As he and his wife struggled through their unrelenting grief, a series of strange and supernatural events began occurring—and Blatty became convinced that Peter was sending messages from the afterlife. A true and unabashedly personal story, Finding Peter will shake the most cynical of readers—and it will remind those in grief that our loved ones do truly live on.
A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
Author: Anthony Rapp
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The story of the actor who portrayed Mark Cohen in "Rent" covers such topics as his Broadway successes, his grief at the death of the production's creator, and his struggles with his mother's life-threatening illness.
Author: Kevin Brockmeier
In an afterlife world inhabited by the recently departed who remain in the memories of the living, Marion and Phillip Byrd fall in love again, while on Earth, their daughter, Laura, is stranded alone in an Antarctic research station.
Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Category: Juvenile Fiction
The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.
Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War
Author: Yochi Dreazen
Publisher: Broadway Books
The unforgettable story of a military family that lost two sons—one to suicide and one in combat—and channeled their grief into fighting the armed forces’ suicide epidemic. Major General Mark Graham was a decorated two-star officer whose integrity and patriotism inspired his sons, Jeff and Kevin, to pursue military careers of their own. His wife Carol was a teacher who held the family together while Mark's career took them to bases around the world. When Kevin and Jeff die within nine months of each other—Kevin commits suicide and Jeff is killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq—Mark and Carol are astonished by the drastically different responses their sons’ deaths receive from the Army. While Jeff is lauded as a hero, Kevin’s death is met with silence, evidence of the terrible stigma that surrounds suicide and mental illness in the military. Convinced that their sons died fighting different battles, Mark and Carol commit themselves to transforming the institution that is the cornerstone of their lives. The Invisible Front is the story of how one family tries to set aside their grief and find purpose in almost unimaginable loss. The Grahams work to change how the Army treats those with PTSD and to erase the stigma that prevents suicidal troops from getting the help they need before making the darkest of choices. Their fight offers a window into the military’s institutional shortcomings and its resistance to change – failures that have allowed more than 3,000 troops to take their own lives since 2001. Yochi Dreazen, an award-winning journalist who has covered the military since 2003, has been granted remarkable access to the Graham family and tells their story in the full context of two of America’s longest wars. Dreazen places Mark and Carol’s personal journey, which begins when they fall in love in college and continues through the end of Mark's thirty-four year career in the Army, against the backdrop of the military’s ongoing suicide spike, which shows no signs of slowing. With great sympathy and profound insight, The Invisible Front details America's problematic treatment of the troops who return from war far different than when they'd left and uses the Graham family’s work as a new way of understanding the human cost of war and its lingering effects off the battlefield. From the Hardcover edition.
A True Story of Love and Death in an African Wilderness
Author: Dale Peterson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"This book, written by the author of the "definitive" biography of primatologist Jane Goodall, presents in sweeping detail the story of a group of young volunteers and students doing animal behavior research on chimpanzees, baboons, and red colobus monkeys at Dr. Goodall's research site in Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park during the late 1960s. Goodall, who began her work in the summer of 1960, was originally sponsored by the great paleontologist Louis Leakey and funded by the National Geographic Society. Her early studies of chimpanzees soon made her world famous as one of the great pioneers in primatology, and she began working to transform her original tented camp into a major field station for animal studies. Then came a tragic event that marked the final summer of that promising first decade and is the focus of this book. At aroundnoon, on Saturday, July 12, 1969, Ruth Davis, a young American working at Gombe as a volunteer, walked out of camp to follow a chimpanzee into the forest and never returned. Her body was found six days later floating in a pool at the base of a high waterfall. The Ghosts of Gombe explores the social tensions that developed among the small community of researchers during 1968 and 1969; considers thoroughly how the death might have happened; and describes the painful personal consequences for some of the surviving researchers."--Provided by publisher.
My Near Death Journey to the Edge of Hell and Back
Author: Angie Fenimore
A victim of childhood abuse and a would-be suicide recounts her descent into a hell of terrifying visions and psychic disintegration on the other side of the grave and her return to life through religious faith. Reprint.
The Story of a Crime
Author: Cutter Wood
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Category: True Crime
“I was convinced that somewhere in this pile of anecdotes and photographs and recollections was the vital clue, the detail that would make everything slide into place, and as I began to assemble all the information I’d gathered into an idea of a woman, I imagined myself at the head of a troupe of deputies and detectives, leading us all inexorably in the direction of Sabine Musil-Buehler.” When a stolen car is recovered on the Gulf Coast of Florida, it sets off a search for a missing woman, local motel owner Sabine Musil-Buehler. Three men are named persons of interest—her husband, her boyfriend, and the man who stole the car. Then the motel is set on fire; her boyfriend flees the county; and detectives begin digging on the beach of Anna Maria Island. Author Cutter Wood was a guest at Musil-Buehler’s motel as the search for her gained momentum, and he was drawn steadily deeper into the case. Driven by his own need to understand how a relationship could spin to pieces in such a fatal fashion, he began to talk with many of the people living on Anna Maria, and then with the detectives, and finally with the man presumed to be the murderer. But there was only so much that interviews and transcripts could reveal. In trying to understand how we treat those we love, this book, like Truman Capote’s classic In Cold Blood, tells a story that exists outside documentary evidence. Wood carries the investigation of Sabine’s murder beyond the facts of the case and into his own life, crafting a tale about the dark conflicts at the heart of every relationship.
A Memoir of Loss and Transformation
Author: Mirabai Starr
Publisher: Sounds True
On the day her first book came out—a new translation of Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross—Mirabai Starr’s daughter, Jenny, was killed in a car accident. “My spiritual life began the day my daughter died,” writes Mirabai. Even with decades of spiritual practice and a deep immersion in the greatest mystical texts, she found herself utterly unprepared for “my most powerful catalyst for transformation, my fiercest and most compassionate teacher.” With Caravan of No Despair, Mirabai shares an irreverent, uplifting, and intimate memoir of her extraordinary life journey. Through the many twists and turns of her life—including a tangled relationship with a charlatan-guru, her unexpected connection with the great Christian mystics, and the loss of her daughter—Mirabai finds the courage to remain open and defenseless before the mystery of the divine. “Tragedy and trauma are not guarantees for a transformational spiritual experience,” writes Mirabai Starr, “but they are opportunities. They are invitations to sit in the fire and allow it to transfigure us.”
What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love
Author: Joseph Luzzi
Category: Biography & Autobiography
When you lose your whole world in a moment, where do you turn? On a cold November morning, Joseph Luzzi, a Dante scholar and professor at Bard College, found himself racing to the hospital—his wife, Katherine, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, had been in a horrible car accident. In one terrible instant, Luzzi became both a widower and a first-time father. In the aftermath of unthinkable tragedy, Luzzi relied on the support of his Italian immigrant family, returning to his childhood home to grieve and care for his infant daughter. But it wasn't until he turned to The Divine Comedy—a poem he had devoted his life to studying and teaching—that he learned how to resurrect his life. Following the same structure as Dante's epic poem, Luzzi is shepherded out of his own "dark wood," passing through the grief-stricken Inferno, the Purgatory of healing, and ultimately stepping into the Paradise of rediscovered love. Beautifully written, poignant, insightful, and unflinchingly honest, In a Dark Wood is a hybrid of heartrending memoir and a meditation on the power of great art to give us strength in our darkest moments. Drawing us into hell and back, it is Dante's journey, Joseph Luzzi's, and our very own.
Author: Tim O'Brien
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Survivors, Their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness
Author: Arlene Stein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
Americans now learn about the Holocaust in high school, watch films about it on television, and visit museums dedicated to preserving its memory. But for the first two decades following the end of World War II, discussion of the destruction of European Jewry was largely absent from American culture and the tragedy of the Holocaust was generally seen as irrelevant to non-Jewish Americans. Today, the Holocaust is widely recognized as a universal moral touchstone. In Reluctant Witnesses, sociologist Arlene Stein--herself the daughter of a Holocaust survivor--mixes memoir, history, and sociological analysis to tell the story of the rise of Holocaust consciousness in the United States from the perspective of survivors and their descendants. If survivors tended to see Holocaust storytelling as mainly a private affair, their children--who reached adulthood during the heyday of identity politics--reclaimed their hidden family histories and transformed them into public stories. Reluctant Witnesses documents how a group of people who had previously been unrecognized and misunderstood managed to find its voice. It tells this story in relation to the changing status of trauma and victimhood in American culture. At a time when a sense of Holocaust fatigue seems to be setting in and when the remaining survivors are at the end of their lives, it affirms that confronting traumatic memories and catastrophic histories can help us make our world mean something beyond ourselves.
Author: Max Porter
Originally published: London: Faber & Faber Ltd, 2015.
The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home
Author: Denise Kiernan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A New York Times bestseller with an "engaging narrative and array of detail” (The Wall Street Journal), the “intimate and sweeping” (Raleigh News & Observer) untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest private residence in North America, which has seen more than 120 years of history pass by its front door. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House. Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy. This is the fascinating, “soaring and gorgeous” (Karen Abbott) story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.
Author: Jennifer L. McMahon
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Director and producer Tim Burton impresses audiences with stunning visuals, sinister fantasy worlds, and characters whose personalities are strange and yet familiar. Drawing inspiration from sources as varied as Lewis Carroll, Salvador Dalí, Washington Irving, and Dr. Seuss, Burton's creations frequently elicit both alarm and wonder. Whether crafting an offbeat animated feature, a box-office hit, a collection of short fiction, or an art exhibition, Burton pushes the envelope, and he has emerged as a powerful force in contemporary popular culture. In The Philosophy of Tim Burton, a distinguished group of scholars examines the philosophical underpinnings and significance of the director's oeuvre, investigating films such as Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare before Christmas (1993), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Big Fish (2003), Sweeney Todd (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Dark Shadows (2012). The essays in this volume explore Burton's distinctive style, often disturbing content, and popular appeal through three thematic lenses: identity, views on authority, and aesthetic vision. Covering topics ranging from Burton's fascination with Victorian ideals, to his celebration of childhood, to his personal expression of the fantastic, the contributors highlight the filmmaker's peculiar narrative style and his use of unreal settings to prompt heightened awareness of the world we inhabit. The Philosophy of Tim Burton offers a penetrating and provocative look at one of Hollywood's most influential auteurs.
Author: George Saunders
Publisher: Random House
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, USA Today, and Maureen Corrigan, NPR • One of Time’s Ten Best Novels of the Year • A New York Times Notable Book February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? “A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”—Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review “A masterpiece.”—Zadie Smith