Synopses & Reviews
Pulitzer Prize in Letters: Biography finalist
National Book Critics Circle 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.
"...The Light of the World is, as its title suggests, a bittersweet testament to love and the memory of love, one of the most compelling memoirs of loss that I have ever read." Joyce Carol Oates
"The Light of the World simply took my breath away." First Lady Michelle Obama, MORE
"Both raw and exquisitely crafted, mercilessly direct and sometimes lavishly metaphorical... The Light of the World is, quite simply, a miracle." Boston Sunday Globe
About the Author
Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher born in New York City and raised in Washington, DC. She has published numerous books of poems, including American Sublime (2005), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, a young adult collection (co-authored with Marilyn Nelson), Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color, which won a 2008 Connecticut Book Award, and, most recently, Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010. She teaches at Yale University, and this is her first picture book.