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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander

ICYMI: Poet Elizabeth Alexander writes a gorgeous account of her love affair with her husband and the trauma of his sudden death in a heartbreaking, heartwarming account of moving through the darkness and holding tight to life's beauty and its pain.

“The story seems to begin with catastrophe but in fact began earlier and is not a tragedy but rather a love story. Perhaps tragedies are only tragedies in the presence of love, which confers meaning to loss. Loss is not felt in the absence of love.”

In The Light of the World, Elizabeth Alexander writes gorgeously about Ficre Ghebreyesus, the husband she lost suddenly; the elements that made him irreplaceable to her and to the world; and the impossibility and inevitability of adjusting to life without him.

Alexander shares the trauma surrounding this enormous loss--which occurred days after Ghebreyesus's fiftieth birthday surprise party--and her personal journey toward finding peace.

Much of the book explores the beauty of companionship, and with poetic gorgeousness Alexander lays out her unique love story.

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand.”

Reading his widow's account of life with Ficre made me feel deeply connected to him. This was exquisitely beautiful.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I mentioned The Light of the World in my Greedy Reading List Six Fascinating Memoirs to Explore.

You might also be interested in the titles on the Greedy Reading List Six Powerful Memoirs about Facing Mortality.

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