Forty years after its original publication, James Agee's last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man's death and its impact on his family, Agee painstakingly created a small world of domestic happiness and then showed how quickly and casually it could be destroyed.
On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in Knoxville, Tennessee, to tend to his father, whom he believes is dying. The summons turns out to be a false alarm, but on his way back to his family, Jay has a car accident and is killed instantly. Dancing back and forth in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay's wife, brother, and young son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelmingly powerful novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that should be read aloud for the sheer music of its prose.
"An utterly individual and original book...one of the most deeply worked out expressions of human feeling that I have ever read."--Alfred Kazin, New York Times Book Review
"It is, in the full sense, poetry....The language of the book, at once luminous and discreet...remains in the mind."--New Republic
"People I know who read A Death in the Family forty years ago still talk about it. So do I. It is a great book, and I'm happy to see it done anew."--Andre Dubus, author of Dancing After Hours and Meditations From A Moveable Chair
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
James Agee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning autobiographical novel is like a mournful song: sad, sweet, and deeply affecting. The story takes place in Knoxville in 1915, during the days before and after the sudden death of Jay Follett, a young husband and father. Agee’s writing is sparse and beautiful as he examines how each family member is impacted, from Jay’s wife tensely waiting for news in the kitchen on the night of his accident to his children hiding under the bed, confused and sick with grief. The family is in such a raw, vulnerable state that you almost get the feeling you’re seeing something you shouldn’t—every detail is painfully real.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is amazing writing
.. passages that ring true - if you allow yourself to become invested in the text ; there's an amazing & profound depth. Just great.
Horrible- don’t read it (unless you have to)
I was required to read this for school. It’s probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read and I would rate it 0 stars if I could. The book is boring and completely uninteresting. There are WAY too many details. It’s frustrating while you are reading it because it talks about the same thing on and on and on. The book went no where. It was a bad story and a bad ending. I would definitely not reccomend. at all. There was honestly no story to it. It was just bad. plain bad.