Death silences not only those it takes, but those it leaves behind: All too typically we can neither express our grief nor express sympathy for the bereaved. In his sensitive collection, toss finds a voice -- or several voices -- in the poetry, fiction, letters, and diaries of the world's great writers. Here are James Agee, recording the shock of his father's death; William Shakespeare, making poetry of Cleopatra's grief; the Biblical wisdom of The Book of Lamentations; the psychological acuity of Marcel Proust. Here are mourners from classical Rome to eleventh-century China, from the Paiute Indians to present-day Ireland. Arranged in sections that correspond to the stages of mourning, In the Midst of Winter is a collection whose breadth and resonance make it invaluable and utterly unique.
Mary Jane Moffat earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at Stanford University, where she also taught Creative Writing in Wallace Stegner's department as a Merrilees Fellow. She also taught at San Francisco State University and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. She was co-editor of the feminist book, Revelations; Diaries of Women and editor of In the Midst of Winter, Selections from the Literature of Mourning.