Sorrows of Death Serve as Writers’ Muses

Grief is good, at least for publishers. In recent years, many literary figures and others have written accounts about the deaths of loved ones. For instance, novelist Joyce Carol Oates (A Widow’s Story), C. S. Lewis (A Grief Observed), nonfiction writer David Rieff (Swimming in a Sea of Death), Francisco Goldman (Say Her Name) in response to the death of his young wife Aura, poet-critic Meghan O’Rourke (The Long Goodbye), and the grand dame of New Journalism, Joan Didion, who started the recent trend of grief literature in 2005 with a book about the death of her husband (The Year of Magical Thinking), will soon publish, Blue Nights, about the death of her daughter.

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