Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Loved Ones #BookTober

About The Book:
In the autobiographical essay collection The Loved Ones: Essays to Bury the Dead, author Madison Davis explores the deaths of four family members across three generations: an inexplicable double murder, a fatal car accident, a long illness, and a conscripted soldier killed in action. Piece by piece, each essay explores the death of a loved one in a collage of vignettes: the loss, the aftermath, the funerals, and the rituals used to say goodbye to the body. As the investigation deepens, Davis lines up other forms of death - capital punishment and murder; medically-assisted suicide and “natural” death from disease; military conscription and “freak accident” - to see what comes to the surface. The Loved Ones presents an authentic and intimate portrait of family grief, the instability of time and memory in the face of loss, and the feeling of being left behind still living. It asks, what does it mean to bury our loved ones when our only desire is to never let them go? “The book is inspired by my own life and family history. I lost a lot of people in my life at a young age, and the experiences contributed significantly to who I am as a person and as a writer,” Davis said. “The book is unstable in that it’s always searching for something to hold onto that is certain but not quite reaching it. It allows questions to go unanswered and asks the reader to sit in the discomfort of that lack of closure.” Davis’s The Loved Ones highlights what the trauma of losing a loved one can do to memory. The stunning and deeply emotional memoir from the celebrated sophomore author was the winner of the Dzanc Prize for Nonfiction in 2021.

About The Author:
Madison Davis is a writer and editor based in Oakland, California. She is the author of Disaster and The Loved Ones. Madison’s work can also be found in a few magazines and anthologies and many more files on her computer. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2009 where she studied poetry and music. In 2011, she moved from New York to Oakland to attend Mills College where she graduated with an MFA in poetry in 2013. She is currently an associate editor at New Harbinger Publications.


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