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The Violet Hour

Best Seller
The Violet Hour by Katie Roiphe
Hardcover
Mar 08, 2016 | 320 Pages
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  • Hardcover $28.00

    Mar 08, 2016 | 320 Pages

  • Ebook $13.99

    Mar 08, 2016 | 320 Pages

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Praise

“A beautiful book . . . The intensity of these passages—the depth of research, the acute sensitivity for declarative moments—is deeply beguiling.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Profound, poetic and—yes—comforting.”People
 
“Unconventional, engaging . . . [The Violet Hour] is at once scholarly, literary, juicy—and unabashedly personal.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Enveloping . . . I read it in bed, at the kitchen table, while walking down the street. . . . ‘What normal person wants to blunder into this hushed and sacred space?’ she asks. But the answer is all of us, and [Katie] Roiphe does it with grace.”—Jennifer Senior, The New York Times
 
“A beautiful and provocative meditation on mortality.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“A tender yet penetrating look at the final days . . . Roiphe has always seemed to me a writer to envy. No matter what the occasion, she can be counted on to marry ferocity and erudition in ways that nearly always make her interesting, even when one reads in wide-eyed dissent, and her gifts are on full display in The Violet Hour. . . . The intimacy and precision of Ms. Roiphe’s accounts, which move fluidly back and forth in time, are so remarkable.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“The critic who parses the artist parsing death must be every inch as intrepid as the artist himself. In The Violet Hour, Katie Roiphe delivers a . . . necessary report from ‘the deepening shades,’ as Yeats has it, rife with her hospitable authority and critical rectitude. . . . Here is a critic in supreme control of her gifts, whose gift to us is the observant vigor that refuses to flinch before the Reaper. . . . She knows that true criticism does not bother with the mollification of delicate sensibilities, only with the intellect as it roils and rollicks through language.”—William Giraldi, The New Republic
 
“Roiphe’s meticulously researched The Violet Hour provides a moving glimpse into the final days of Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, and other great thinkers.”Martha Stewart Living
 
“Roiphe’s book, which is both a feat of reporting and an act of invention, is a literary embrace.”More
 
“A revelation . . . This is the best book Roiphe has written. She shows that our interest in dying is not just an interest in endings, or in final things, or in posterity. Instead, it has to do with how we get along, how families and friendship work, in short, how we live.”The Paris Review
 
“Her writing is as incisive and sharp as it is ruminative, so with The Violet Hour she’s managed to make me almost giddily excited to read about death.”Literary Hub
 
“Beautiful and haunting . . . Never overly sentimental, this is a poignant and elegant inquiry into mortality.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Roiphe’s book is touching and luminous, profound and somehow reassuring. Recommend it to anyone who is grieving or has experienced a death, which ultimately means all of us.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“Mesmerizing storytelling . . . Roiphe’s riveting profiles reveal a simple truth: each person faces death in a unique way.”Publishers Weekly
 
“By combining the writer’s final moments of life with what they left on the page, Roiphe ultimately offers us something beyond the work: a glimpse of death that is startling and new, intimate and uncomfortable, and deeply, deeply human.”BookPage
 
“What Roiphe discovers by closely observing and contemplating each of her subjects in their darkest hours—especially their courage and great flourishes of creativity when at their most vulnerable—surprises her, and the insights she shares are bound to affirm in readers the value and meaning of life.”Shelf Awareness
 
“In this elegant and beautifully written set of elegies, Katie Roiphe looks death squarely in the face, describing how people evanesce, how others lose them, how they lose themselves, how writing is a means to negotiate for immortality. This courageous, generous, intimate book is suffused with affection, and therefore provides comfort even when its topic is the loneliness that inheres in finality.”—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree
 
“Katie Roiphe’s The Violet Hour is ambitious and tender. Her subject is urgent and so is her prose—pressurized, curious, vibrating. Death in these pages is also an account of how gravity takes up residence in pragmatics: edits from a hospital bed, wanting a certain kind of pie, what to do with the dog. The book is not simply about facing death—imagining it, fearing it, fighting it, craving it—but a sensitive exploration of caregiving: the labor it demands, psychic and otherwise, and the deep intimacy it permits.”—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

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