The inevitable : contemporary writers confront death / edited by David Shields and Bradford Morrow ; with an introduction by the editors.

1st ed.
New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2011.
332 p. ; 21 cm.


Summary note
Birth is not inevitable. Life certainly isn't. The sole inevitability of existence, the only sure consequence of being alive, is death. In these eloquent and surprising essays, twenty writers face this fact, among them Geoff Dyer, who describes the ghost bikes memorializing those who die in biking accidents; Jonathan Safran Foer, proposing a new way of punctuating dialogue in the face of a family history of heart attacks and decimation by the Holocaust; Mark Doty, whose reflections on the art-porn movie Bijou lead to a meditation on the intersection of sex and death epitomized by the AIDS epidemic; and Joyce Carol Oates, who writes about the loss of her husband and faces her own mortality. Other contributors include Annie Dillard, Diane Ackerman, Peter Straub, Brenda Hillman, and Terry Castle. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references (p. [331]-332).
  • Introduction / David Shields and Bradford Morrow
  • Deathwatch / David Gates
  • Between the forest and the well : notes on death / Kyoki Mori
  • Bayham Street / Robert Clark
  • The sutra of maggots and blowflies / Sallie Tisdale
  • A primer for the punctuation of heart disease / Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Silence and awakening / Diane Ackerman
  • A solemn pleasure / Melissa Pritchard
  • Death in the age of digital proliferation, and other considerations / Christopher Sorrentino
  • The siege / Joyce Carol Oates
  • Field notes for the graveyard enthusiast / Robin Hemley
  • Inside story / Peter Straub
  • Invasion to the dance / Kevin Baker
  • Death wish in Negroland / Margo Jefferson
  • Grace Street / Greg Bottoms
  • The final plot / Lynne Tillman
  • Lessness / Lance Olsen
  • Bijou / Mark Doty
  • Cézanne's colors / Brenda Hillman
  • What will survive of us / Geoff Dyer
  • This is the life / Annie Dillard.
Other title(s)
Contemporary writers confront death
  • 9780393339369 (pbk.)
  • 039333936X (pbk.)
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