A Death in the Family
Publication Date: September 2009
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Published in 1957, two years after its author's death at the age of forty-five, "A Death in the Family" remains a near-perfect work of art, an autobiographical novel that contains one of the most evocative depictions of loss and grief ever written. As Jay Follet hurries back to his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, he is killed in a car accident - a tragedy that destroys not only a life, but also the domestic happiness and contentment of a young family. A novel of great courage, lyric force, and powerful emotion, "A Death in the Family" is a masterpiece of American literature.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
STEVE EARLE is a singer-songwriter, actor, activisit, and the author of the story collection Doghouse Roses. He has released over a dozen critically acclaimed albums, including the Grammy winners The Revolution Starts Now, Washington Square Serenade, and Townes. He has appeared on film and television, with celebrated roles in The Wire and Treme. Frequently interviewed and profiled in the press, he often tours with his wife, singer-songwriter Allison Moorer.
"[James Agee's words] are so indelibly etched someplace inside of me that I couldn't reach to rub them out even if I wanted to. And I never want to."
-Steve Earle, from the Introduction
"The work of a writer whose power with English words can make you gasp."
-Alfred Kazin, The 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."
-The New Republic
" Wonderfully alive."
-The New Yorker