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The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers…

The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death (edition 2011)

by David Shields (Editor), Bradford Morrow (Editor)

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394471,311 (3.5)None
Birth is not inevitable. Life certainly isn't. The sole inevitability of existence, the only sure consequence of being alive, is death. In these eloquent and surprising essays, twenty writers face this fact, among them Geoff Dyer, who describes the ghost bikes memorializing those who die in biking accidents; Jonathan Safran Foer, proposing a new way of punctuating dialogue in the face of a family history of heart attacks and decimation by the Holocaust; Mark Doty, whose reflections on the art-porn movie Bijou lead to a meditation on the intersection of sex and death epitomized by the AIDS epidemic; and Joyce Carol Oates, who writes about the loss of her husband and faces her own mortality. Other contributors include Annie Dillard, Diane Ackerman, Peter Straub, Brenda Hillman, and Terry Castle. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.… (more)
Title:The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death
Authors:David Shields (Editor)
Other authors:Bradford Morrow (Editor)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2011), 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death by David Shields



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Although many of the stories were interesting, I kept finding that I had to force myself to finish most of them, thinking “When am I going to get to the good part?” Plus, I do not think some of the authors really confronted death per se. I am such purist. I highly recommend “The Art of Death” over this one. ( )
  joyfulmimi | Jun 3, 2018 |
As with any book of essays, some spoke to me more than others. In particular, the pieces by Christopher Sorrentino, Jonathan Safran Foer and Joyce Carol Oates were brilliant. Overall, the book is full of well-crafted and thoughtful pieces. ( )
  laurustina | Jan 14, 2015 |
A diverse--and somewhat uneven--collection of essays--personal, academic, playful, and occasionally impenetrably lyrical reflections on death. I found most meaning in those that recounted or reflected on personal experiences. The piece by Kevin Baker in which he details the discovery of his genetic legacy is, in my opinion, the best by far in the anthology. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Dec 29, 2012 |
Editors Shields (The Thing About Life Is One Day You'll Be Dead) and Morrow (The Diviner's Tale) asked 20 writers to write about death and "speak about the unspeakable." The essays range widely from blow-flies to widowhood to 'ghost bikes' to cemeteries and even pornography. The tones and responses are as varied as the authors themselves -- funny, grotesque, honest, mournful, reflective.

The list of authors is impressive: Diane Ackerman, Mark Doty, Jonathan Safran, Geoff Dyer, Annie Dillard, Joyce Carol Oates, Christopher Sorrentina to name a few. . . each ponder the inevitability of death, the cost of it, how it hangs over our heads, stalks us, creates us. It is a moving collection, sometimes comforting, sometimes disturbing, and entirely worthwhile. ( )
1 vote Laurenbdavis | Sep 28, 2012 |
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