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Publisher's Summary

In The Light of the World, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband, who was just 50. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the subsequent void, and feeling a reenergized devotion to her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that describes a very personal and yet universal quest for meaning, understanding, and acceptance. She examines the journey we take in life through the lens of her own emotional and intellectual evolution, taking stock of herself at the midcentury mark.

This exquisite memoir is for anyone who has loved and lost. It's about being strong when you want to collapse, about being grateful when someone has been stolen from you. It's Elizabeth Alexander's story, but it is all of our stories because it is about discovering what matters.

A deeply resonant memoir for anyone who has loved and lost, from acclaimed poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander.

The Light of the World is both 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 about what matters most, The Light of the World is required listening.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2015 Elizabeth Alexander (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Alexander should be proud because she is one of the few authors who also successfully narrate their own book. She has a sunny, vibrant voice that accentuates the good times she writes about, but she's also able to moderate her tone for the most serious passages, making the story more nuanced and interesting." ( AudioFile)

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What listeners say about The Light of the World

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Eloquently written, moving and beautiful memoir

What made the experience of listening to The Light of the World the most enjoyable?

The author/narrator's voice is lovely and authentic as she reads the words she has so beautifully written.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the way she constructed the memoir, how she introduced me to her husband and the life of their family, and how she made me feel the love they shared and the loss they felt.

What about Elizabeth Alexander’s performance did you like?

It was rich, textured, moving, and authentic. It felt like a spoken word poetry session given by a good friend.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes... and I think I might listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book. It is a touching tribute to the life of her late husband and of the life they shared together.

3 people found this helpful

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Incredible.

Incredibly moving. Incredibly well written. Incredibly honest. I enjoyed this book from start to finish - and highly recommend it!

2 people found this helpful

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A lovely book!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Light of the World to be better than the print version?

I downloaded this book to listen to while I walk. The upside of choosing this book for this purpose was that I couldn't wait to get out for my next walk, The downside of choosing this book for this purpose was that I was walking around my neighbourhood bawling. This was a beautiful and touching book that made me appreciate the people and beauty in my own life.

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Poignant, beautiful, memorable and so lyrical.

A must read. Absolutely mesmerizing, deeply moving. A celebration of a man, of love, creativity, cultures, blackness, and transcendance.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JC
  • 08-11-15

A Moving Account of Love and Loss

Tender and moving account of the loss of a partner in the prime of life. Elizabeth Alexander writes beautifully and hearing her read is a special treat. I especially like the way she weaves the threads of the story together, repeating details to deepen the reader's sense of the whole. A great read.

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Beautiful

Heartbreaking and wonderful memoir narrated by the author. I listened to this book in pieces, and could always pick up where I left off easily. Emotional... It makes you reflect on your own life. Recommend. Listened on Samsung Galaxy.

1 person found this helpful

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Stunning

This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read, full of countless moments of joyful and heartbreaking remembrance.

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loved it! the narrator was enchanting and inspirin

the narrator was extremely easy to identify with; very likable. she is inspiring and i would very much like to know her better.

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Very slow

What disappointed you about The Light of the World?

I read as part of a book club and really could not get into the book.

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So many emotions

This book has a lot - what a special marriage and relationship. I so enjoyed hearing how these two met - and especially their background stories - it was so full yet a short book

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  • Denise Mills
  • 09-29-20

beautiful

A sad story but beautifully written and somehow uplifting. I'm so glad I found this book.

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