The Light of the World

alexander-book-review-Elizabeth Alexander
Grand Central Publishing, 2015
224 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1455599875

FOUR DAYS AFTER HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY PARTY, Elizabeth Alexander’s husband, Ficre Ghebreyesus, dropped dead of a heart attack while exercising on a home treadmill. His death came as a total shock; “eminently strong of body and spirit,” he was “slim and energetic and . . . [had] passed stress tests with flying colors.” Alexander, an acclaimed poet and Yale professor best known for the piece she read at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, had enjoyed a deeply fulfilling marriage to Ghebreyesus. “The Light of the World” is her memoir of love and loss.

As a former Yale professor, a poetry lover, and a memoirist of loss myself, I expected to like Alexander’s book. But nothing could have prepared me for the experience of reading “The Light of the World.” It riveted me, rent me, sent me reeling. It flooded me with ineffable joy. >>READ MORE

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Source: Priscilla Gilman || Boston Globe: Books || April 2015

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