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The Light of the World
Cover of The Light of the World
The Light of the World
A Memoir
"PULITZER PRIZE IN LETTERS: BIOGRAPHY FINALIST""NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRLE AWARDS AUTOBIOGRAPHY FINALIST"New York Times BestsellerFirst Lady Michelle Obama's Favorite Book of 2015A New Yorker, NPR,...
"PULITZER PRIZE IN LETTERS: BIOGRAPHY FINALIST""NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRLE AWARDS AUTOBIOGRAPHY FINALIST"New York Times BestsellerFirst Lady Michelle Obama's Favorite Book of 2015A New Yorker, NPR,...
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  • "PULITZER PRIZE IN LETTERS: BIOGRAPHY FINALIST"

    "NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRLE AWARDS AUTOBIOGRAPHY FINALIST"


    New York Times Bestseller

    First Lady Michelle Obama's Favorite Book of 2015

    A New Yorker, NPR, Boston Globe, Publisher's Weekly, Newsday, Library Journal, People.com, Shelf Awareness, The Root, and St. Louis Dispact Best Book of 2015 Pick

    New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

    An Amazon's Best Book of the Month, April 2015

    IndieBound Indie Next #1 Pick, May 2015


    A deeply resonant memoir for anyone who has loved and lost, from acclaimed poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander.

    In THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid price, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss.


    THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is at once an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well-lived and a paean to the priceless gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares what matters most, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is required reading.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Elizabeth Alexander composed and recited "Praise Song for the Day" for President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. She is the author of six books of poetry—including American Sublime, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—and is the first winner of the Jackson Prize for Poetry and a National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellow. She is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 23, 2015
    Poet and Yale African Studies professor Alexander (The Black Interior; Power and Possibility) was devastated by the death of her artist husband, who died of cardiac arrest at age 50 while exercising in the basement of their home. This memoir is an elegiac narrative of the man she loved. Artist and chef Ficre Ghebreyesus’s death was as inexplicable as the spark of love between him and Alexander after they met at a New Haven café in 1996. Ghebreyesus was a thin, fit person who nonetheless smoked; and he was not without his mysteries. For example, in the days before his death, he was obsessed with buying lottery tickets. Ghebreyesus was a gentle, peace-loving East African who had come through the Eritrean-Ethiopian civil war and was a refugee in America; he became a fashionable painter and an inventive chef at Caffe Adulis, which he ran in New Haven with his brothers. Alexander, who grew up in Washington, D.C., describes her husband’s endearing traits such as sleep-talking or singing in his native Tigrinya, and the special rituals he made when their sons reached age 13. Fashioning her mellifluous narrative around the beauty she found in Ghebreyesus, Alexander is grateful, patient, and willing to pursue a fit of magical thinking that he might just return.

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