A Death in the Family
By James Agee
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143115847, 310pp.)
Publication Date: September 2008
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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.