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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.
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.
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