Saturday, January 16, 2016

Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander

Hardcover, 209 pages Published April 21st 2015 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 14th 2015)

"Oh beauty, you are the light of the world!"
--Derek Walcott
It is said the way to deal with loss is to remember. Alexander chooses the most gorgeous memories for the elegy of her husband Ficre, like a bowl of blowsy, fragrant roses or a rarely-blooming South African bonsai covered in pink blossoms that exude a sweet perfume. The unusual capacity of both artists to see beauty and possibility in the world gave them loving friends that each of them gathered about themselves and cherished for one another. They lived a life of such richness and beauty that they cannot now be sad it had to end. That it was a privilege, both of them would acknowledge.

Ficre Ghebreyesus was only days past his fiftieth birthday when he died of a massive heart attack one evening on his treadmill while he waited for his wife and the mother of his two sons to return from a poetry reading. The memories of their meeting, the births of their sons, their life together--he as a chef and painter, she as a teacher and poet--is as wonderful as anything I have ever read, and as mysterious in alchemy as any chemistry.

Gorgeous. Unforgettable. Oh joy, oh pain, oh beauty.

You can buy this book here: Shop Indie Bookstores

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