Thursday, July 18, 2013

Published Posthumously

The New York Times had a particularly interesting book review last Sunday covering autobiographical books written about the authors’ own deaths.

The clever title, “Deadlines,” draws the reader in, and Meghan O’Rourke doesn’t disappoint, bringing up the insightful questions throughout the article. The piece touched on books such as John Updike’s Endpoint and Roger Ebert’s Life Itself: A Memoir, asking why there has been such an explosion of “death lit” recently.

Interestingly, the New York Times published another article on the very same day highlighting David Rakoff’s final novel, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, which he wrote on his deathbed. The book is written in iambic pentameter, something Rakoff had never done before. Joel Lovell paints a touching and inspirational picture of Rakoff’s struggle to finish his novel before his final deadline.

Does literature about death inspire or depress you? Why the sudden influx of books about dying? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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