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In a Dark Wood: A Memoir

In a Dark Wood: A Memoir

by Joseph Luzzi


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On a cold November morning, Joseph Luzzi found himself racing to the hospital. His wife, Katherine, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, had been in a horrible car accident—in one terrible instant, Luzzi became both a widower and a first-time father.

In the aftermath of unthinkable tragedy, Luzzi relied on the support of his Italian immigrant family, returning to his childhood home in Rhode Island to mourn and to care for his infant daughter. Adrift and grieving, Luzzi found himself sharing Dante’s dark wood with an intimacy that years of scholarship had never shown him. As Luzzi grapples with his loss and struggles to rebuild the life he had known, he shepherds readers through a universally relatable journey of suffering with wisdom and compassion.

Blending heartrending memoir and meditations on the power of great art to give us strength in our darkest moments, In a Dark Wood is a poignant and surprising affirmation of life and love.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062357526
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 286,916
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Joseph Luzzi holds a doctorate from Yale and teaches at Bard. He is the author of My Two Italies, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy, which won the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, and the Times Literary Supplement.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

I The Underworld

Chapter 1 An Hour with the Angels 13

Chapter 2 Consider Tour Seed 49

Chapter 3 Love-40 83

II Mount Purgatory

Chapter 4 Astrid and Anja 117

Chapter 5 The Gears of Justice 149

Chapter 6 Rough Draft 173

III One Thousand and One

Chapter 7 Posthoc7 205

Chapter 8 Fathers and Sons 233

Chapter 9 Open Hours 257

Epilogue 283

Translations and Motes 291

Acknowledgments 295

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