Friday, May 15, 2020

Seven novels about grieving a family member

Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and the author of the novel The Beauty of Your Face and the prize-winning short story collection Code of the West. Stories from Code of the West (2017) have been awarded the Guild Literary Complex Prize for fiction, a Distinguished Story honor from Best American Short Stories, and three Pushcart Prize nominations, among other honors. Mustafah teaches literature and creative writing to high school students outside of Chicago.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books that "offer tender, and sometimes violent, representations of losing a parent or sibling and its complicated grief." One title on the list:
Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

In the mythical, elegant, and unapologetic tradition of Toni Morrison, Ward conjures the ghost of a wrongfully killed son and brother. Those left behind—River, a sturdy patriarch, whose wife is slowly dying on their bed, and his grandson Jo Jo habitually abandoned by Leonie, his grief-stricken, addicted mother—must carry on.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Sing, Unburied Sing is on LitHub's list of ten books we'll be reading in ten years.

--Marshal Zeringue