Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Graywolf. Jun. 2016. 128p. ISBN 9781555977412. pap. $14; ebk. ISBN 9781555979379. F
OrangeReviewStarIn this remarkable debut, a man grief-stricken by his wife's sudden death stumbles around the house, ignoring his writings on Ted Hughes's poetry and unable to care for his two boys. Then he answers the door and is whacked backward by a huge, decayed-smelling crow, the mystical black embodiment of his sorrow. A self-described trickster there both to torment the man ("For a little break in the mourning, I will give you something to think about") and to push him through his suffering, Crow speaks oracularly in shimmering passages that alternate with those of Dad and Boys.
VERDICT Like a prose poem in its splendid language but with its own swift flow, this is highly recommended for ambitious readers.
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