A Death in the Family

Front Cover
Penguin, Sep 10, 2008 - Fiction - 320 pages
25 Reviews
Forty years after its original publication, James Agee's last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man's death and its impact on his family, Agee painstakingly created a small world of domestic happiness and then showed how quickly and casually it could be destroyed.

On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in Knoxville, Tennessee, to tend to his father, whom he believes is dying. The summons turns out to be a false alarm, but on his way back to his family, Jay has a car accident and is killed instantly. Dancing back and forth in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay's wife, brother, and young son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelmingly powerful novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that should be read aloud for the sheer music of its prose.

"An utterly individual and original book...one of the most deeply worked out expressions of human feeling that I have ever read."--Alfred Kazin, New York Times Book Review

"It is, in the full sense, poetry....The language of the book, at once luminous and discreet...remains in the mind."--New Republic

"People I know who read A Death in the Family forty years ago still talk about it. So do I. It is a great book, and I'm happy to see it done anew."--Andre Dubus, author of Dancing After Hours and Meditations From A Moveable Chair
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

Pretty good book, but not as good as hyped. Not an easy read mainly because it is written in a style too easy to read. Too much family for me, and I suppose that has the most to do with what I feel is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - magicians_nephew - LibraryThing

Just finished reading A Death in the Family James Agee's novel for one of my face to face book groups. Knoxville Tennessee. 1915. Husband and Wife and two small children and their extended family ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
PART THREE
Chapter 14
Chapter 15

Chapter 6
Chapter 7
PART
Chapter 8
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

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 most famous work.
 
Steve Earle (introducer) 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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