The Light of the World

The Light of the World Cover

The Light of the World

A Memoir

By Elizabeth Alexander

Grand Central Publishing, Hardcover, 9781455599875, 224pp.

Publication Date: April 21, 2015

New York Times BestsellerFirst Lady Michelle Obama's Favorite Book of 2015A New Yorker, NPR, Boston Globe, Publisher's Weekly, Newsday, Library Journal,, Shelf Awareness, The Root, and St. Louis Dispact Best Book of 2015 PickNew York Times Book Review Editor's ChoiceAn Amazon's Best Book of the Month, April 2015IndieBound Indie Next #1 Pick, May 2015
A deeply resonant memoir for anyone who has loved and lost, from acclaimed poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander.
In THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid price, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss.
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is at once an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well-lived and a paean to the priceless gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares what matters most, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is required reading.

About the Author
Elizabeth Alexander composed and recited "Praise Song for the Day" for President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. She is the author of six books of poetry--including American Sublime, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--and is the first winner of the Jackson Prize for Poetry and a National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellow. She is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.

Tuesday, Aug 11, 2015

Poet Elizabeth Alexander's new book is a memoir of her life with her husband, who died three years ago. During her book tour, readers began giving her keepsakes that help her work through her grief. More at

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Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

NPR's Rachel Martin speaks to author Elizabeth Alexander about her new memoir, The Light of the World. More at

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