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Book cover of A Death in the Family

A Death in the Family

by James Agee

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Pages: 320
Paperback
ISBN: 9780143115847






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Overview of A Death in the Family

The American classic-now available from Penguin for the first time

Published in 1957, two years after its author's death at the age of forty-five, A Death in the Family remains a near-perfect work of art, an autobiographical novel that contains one of the most evocative depictions of loss and grief ever written. As Jay Follet hurries back to his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, he is killed in a car accident-a tragedy that destroys not only a life, but also the domestic happiness and contentment of a young family. A novel of great courage, lyric force, and powerful emotion, A Death in the Family is a masterpiece of American literature.

Synopsis of A Death in the Family

The classic American novel, re-published for the 100th anniversary of James Agee's birth

Published in 1957, two years after its author's death at the age of forty-five, A Death in the Family remains a near-perfect work of art, an autobiographical novel that contains one of the most evocative depictions of loss and grief ever written. As Jay Follet hurries back to his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, he is killed in a car accident-a tragedy that destroys not only a life, but also the domestic happiness and contentment of a young family. A novel of great courage, lyric force, and powerful emotion, A Death in the Family is a masterpiece of American literature.

About the Author, James Agee

James Agee (1909-1955) is the author of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, the renowned study of Alabama sharecroppers during the Depression. Born in Tennessee, he died two years before the publication of A Death in the Family, his best-known work.

Steve Earle is an American singer-songwriter, political activist, and author of the short story collection Doghouse Roses. Born in Virginia, he lives with his wife in New York City.

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly

Agee's classic novel, posthumously published after his death at the age of 45, is considered one of the great American novels of childhood and domestic life, as well as a marvel of Southern literature. The book chronicles the effect of the un-expected death of Jay Follet-who is killed in a car accident after visiting his father-on his wife, son, and brother. Lloyd James narrates gently, kindly, as if wanting to not disturb the mourners in their grief. He tiptoes through the book, confident that his polite, soft reading best suits Agee's bittersweet story. James's words echo across the gaps between sentences and paragraph, and he uses pauses wisely, knowing that Agee's prose resonates in the steadily accumulating drizzle of emotion. There is no need to oversell; the book's rhythms dictate the tone of its narration. A Penguin Classics paperback.
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