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  • Published: 9 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781640091214
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $32.99

The Baltimore Book of the Dead



“This book is both brief and miraculous, and it will be finished before you’re ready to let it go. Like life.” —Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth

When Cheryl Strayed was asked by The Boston Globe to name a book she finds herself recommending time and again, she chose The Glen Rock Book of the Dead. Now, a decade later, that beloved book has a moving companion volume. The Baltimore Book of the Dead is a new collection of portraits of the dead, weaving an unusual, richly populated memoir of compressed narratives.

Approaching mourning and memory with intimacy, humor, and an eye for the idiosyncratic, the story starts in the 1960s in Marion Winik’s native New Jersey, winds through Austin, Texas, and rural Pennsylvania, and finally settles in her current home of Baltimore.

Winik begins with a portrait of her mother, the Alpha, introducing locales and language around which other stories will orbit: the power of family, home, and love; the pain of loss and the tenderness of nostalgia; the backdrop of nature and public events. From there, she goes on to create a highly personal panorama of the last half century of American life.

  • Published: 9 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781640091214
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $32.99

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Praise for The Baltimore Book of the Dead

Praise for The Baltimore Book of the Dead A Finalist for the 2019 NAIBA Book of the Year in Nonfiction A PBS NewsHour Best Book of the Year Winner of the 2019 Towson Prize for Literature One of the Top Ten Books of the Year, The Star–Ledger (Newark, NJ) "An affecting collection of brief, incisive portraits of departed figures both public and private." —People "Crystalline remembrances . . . By turns reverent and wry, intimate and universal, these pieces capture the essence of friends, neighbors, a tiny baby, a young man lost to fentanyl, and even a few celebrities . . . [Winik's] mission is not to be morbid but to find a place in our collective conversation for grief, which might be one of the last social taboos . . . A welcome salve to all of us, and encouragement to honor the people we've lost who are forever with us." —Oprah.com "Feast on Marion Winik’s jewelbox of a book filled with gold nuggets of prose and a fevered passion for life even though much is an homage to death itself. Every sentence is a carefully considered slam dunk . . . Breathless, heartbreaking, invigorating."" —Literary Hub "With the same candid and humorous writing style she fine–tuned through her years as an All Things Considered commentator, Winik memorializes the departed in short essays that evoke a tender sense of connection in readers." —Baltimore Magazine "I was so blown away by Marion Winik’s ability to artfully distill a person into a few pages that tens of thousands of pages later, I find myself thinking about her subjects. Winik’s mission of ensuring those we would never have heard about won’t be forgotten is noble . . . Each chapter is extremely short, yet powerful." —Jacqueline Cutler, The Star–Ledger (Newark, NJ) "Every so often I stumble across books where my first reaction is regret. How have I never heard of this writer? My second reaction is a hunger to read all he or she has written. This does not happen often enough so, please know I do not toss this sort of praise lightly. Marion Winik is one of the most elegant, evocative and incisive writers I have encountered . . . Her gift is using the fewest words to capture their spirits, and though as the title broadcasts, this is a book about the dead, it is a glorious account of living." —The Star–Ledger (Newark) "Spending time with dead people might make you wonder: Do I want to take this trip? You do, when Winik is telling the stories, two–page hits that read like flash nonfiction, highlight reels of what these people have meant to her, and sometimes to American culture, over the past 60 years . . . Winik’s voice is strong and clear, as if she has been called to sing these paeans and she will do it, she’s honored to do it, but she’s going to do it her way, with elation and sadness . . . Death is always in season, and it takes someone of Winik’s good humor and willingness to say, in essence, see that big door there? The one we are all going to walk through? Let’s just take a little look now, and know you will be remembered, that you are loved." —Newsday "The Baltimore Book of the Dead [is] a compilation of 400–word essays—yes, only 400 words!—about people who have died, some known to her, some known to all of us, some not even people. I know that might sound morbid, but it’s a joyful and hopeful book." —Laura Lippman, Creative Loafing Tampa "The 60–plus essays are heartbreaking . . . Additional writings are humorous or tender, offering a glimpse of Winik’s own life and tremendous powers of observation. An exquisite, quick read that most will want to reread and turn to when their loved ones are gone." —Library Journal <

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