The Light of the World

The Light of the World

A Memoir

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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Elizabeth Alexander--poet, mother, and wife--finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband, who was just 49. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the subsequent void, and feeling a re-energized devotion to her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that describes a very personal and yet universal quest for meaning, understanding, and acceptance. She examines the journey we take in life through the lens of her own emotional and intellectual evolution, taking stock of herself at the midcentury mark. Because so much of her poetry is personal or autobiographical in nature, her transition to memoir is seamless, guided by her passionate belief in the power of language, her determination to share her voyage of self-discovery with her boys, and her embrace of the principle that the unexamined life is not worth living.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781455599875
1455599875
Characteristics: 209 pages ; 22 cm

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m
mcglass
May 08, 2018

Elizabeth Alexander, an artist poet meets in her 30's another equally talented painter, chef, musician from half way around the world and their life together becomes this loving memoir.
Her beloved dies suddenly mid-life ..her way through is this memoir.

It is as one can imagine excruciatingly painful, touching and intimate. Beautifully written there is no where to go but deep inside. I gave this book to friends who were living through loss.

w
wendybradley
Dec 30, 2017

I would agree with the readers reviews here. She writes beautifully, with a poet's voice. She creates an image for her dearly loved husband that is saint-like. It is difficult to write about the death of a much loved partner (and many good writers have tried), and she succeeds to walk the fine line between being sentimental and too raw.

1
123vmp
Mar 18, 2017

This memoir of the blessed love between a man and woman and the death of the man is a gift to all of us. We may despair of ever having such a deep and close relationship with a soul mate, but just knowing that it happened once to one couple is inspiriting, generating faith, hope and charity. Deep appreciation to Elizabeth Alexander for having the courage and compassion to write this memoir.

e
eemtrs
Jan 18, 2017

On "10 Books I Wish My White Teachers Had Read" by Crystal Paul (https://www.bustle.com/articles/153390-10-books-i-wish-my-white-teachers-had-read).

c
cpdemers
Sep 21, 2016

Simply one of the most beautiful compelling books I have ever read.

The tenderness, joy, sadness and peace reflected in every page enveloped me as I read this treasure in one sitting.

Highly recommended.

j
jannylegs
Jul 14, 2016

The best way to deal with loss is to remember. Beautifully done.

p
peacebenow
Dec 12, 2015

I really liked this book. Well written, extremely thoughtful, and a wonderful review of their lives together and after Ficre departs. My only complaint is that all the positive feeling is almost too good to be true. I'm happy for her and maybe a bit jealous that my life has had many more unhappy challenges.

manoush Aug 04, 2015

A beautifully-rendered ode to a departed loved one. Alexander's prose has all the distilled power of poetic concision. She tells a rare story of an exceptionally loving, mutually-uplifting marriage, without any of the sentimentality or falseness that can easily undermine such a narrative. Above all, it creates an unforgettable portrait of her beloved, departed husband Ficre. As a reader, you grieve with Alexander for the untimely passing of such a good soul, without ever having set eyes on him. That's quite a triumph, even for a poet. This book is a testament to the power of writing when it emerges from deep within the self.

SchroederTribe Jul 07, 2015

Elizabeth Alexander's has an ability to effectively disseminate the human experience into a few chosen words. Her story, born from the deep love and respect that she shared with her husband Ficre and how she is surviving his death is beautiful and deeply moving.

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