Praise for The Widower’s Notebook

“The Widower’s Notebook is a searing rendition of the complex relationship between men and grief—an intense despair that is too often starved for words. This chronicle of devastation is itself devastating, a deeply powerful and unflinchingly honest report of how painfully and strangely life continues in the wake of a sudden, tragic death.”
-Andrew Solomon, bestselling author of Far From the Tree

“The Widower’s Notebook, Jonathan Santlofer’s searingly truthful chronicle of mortality, is, among its wonders, a book about the preciousness of life and love, rendered all the more heart-wrenching, and all the more vital, by a loss almost beyond imagining. It’s a true tragic beauty.”
-Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer prize winner and multi-award winning author of The Hours

“Deeply moving . . . beautifully written . . . It is such an achievement, like running uphill against a strong wind.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award winning author

“Wrenching, heartbreaking, intense and emotional—but valuable, too: we’re all approaching the age where this will happen to us—or to others because of us—and understanding that it can be dealt with is consoling. I don’t know how Santlofer found the fortitude to write this, but I’m deeply grateful he did. I think the world is a better place with this book in it.”
–Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Widower is stunning, harrowing, un-put-down-able…Jonathan Santlofer finds language that is immediate and intimate for the irreconcilable trauma of loss. Without pause he captures the shattered time that is grief—this book is fearless, brave for its humanity, honesty, love. Santlofer brings the reader into his heart, sharing all the things that one feels but dares not say aloud, all that one wants to know but can’t ask of themselves, of those around them, of their lost loved one. Widower is a harrowing story of—stopped time, a freeze frame capture of marriage, family and life.”
–A.M. Homes, award-winning author of May We Be Forgiven and The Mistresses’ Daughter

“As an extended meditation – not on grief but on grieving – it is direct, unadorned and humane. It is, as well, a rare thing, a portrait of a happy marriage.”
–Paul Theroux, award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Jonathan Santlofer, with painful honesty, renders real grief in all its sprawl and inconsolable intensity.”
—Edmund White, award-winning author

“The Widower’s Notebook is an intimate, honest, heart-wrenching, and at times even funny account of grieving as well as the memoir of long, satisfying, loving marriage. This is an important and welcome addition to the literature of loss and grief from the male point of view. I will be giving this “NOTEBOOK” to friends reeling from loss but also to old and new couples who need models of how to weather the many little deaths and losses that occur as they journey a life together. Santlofer has given us a brave, beautiful gift, heartfelt and invaluable.”
—Julia Alvarez, bestselling author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and Saving the World

“Jonathan Santlofer recounts with courage, candor, and sometimes wicked gallows humor how he went on living after the sudden death of his beloved wife, Joy. With no blueprint for mourning—especially for men—Santlofer conveys the isolating muddle of grieving, the awkwardness of some friends versus the absolute heroism of others, and the difficulty of parenting through loss. This story of the worst kind of anguish and the strongest bonds of love will break your heart and heal it back up again.”
—Bliss Broyard, award-winning author of One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life – a Story of Race and Family Secrets

“There’s a miraculous paradox at the heart of this stunning book: Jonathan Santlofer is conveying what his late wife, Joy, was like in words and in drawings, and precisely what it’s like to be crazed with a grief that’s beyond words. A riveting memoir and an indelible portrait of a long and deeply good marriage.”
—Joan Wickersham, National Book Award winner and author of The Suicide Index

“A brave book! A truthful and poignant account of an unexpected death filled with wisdom about life and a man’s struggle to be allowed to grieve.”
—Sheila Kohler, author of Once We Were Sisters

“Jonathan Santlofer’s stunning The Widower’s Notebook raises all the blinds on immense and sudden loss, bringing light to all its dark corners. In so doing, he offers a deeply moving, often funny, always big-hearted portrait—not just of grief but of a long and rich marriage brought to vivid life, and of a mighty father-and-daughter relationship both tested and enduring. A true gift.”
—Megan Abbott, bestselling author of You Will Know Me and The Fever

“Jonathan Santlofer writes with a keen artist’s eye about the devastating whirlwind of grief after the unexpected death of his beloved wife, Joy. How refreshing to read such a deeply felt memoir by a man. Santlofer depicts the aftermath of his wife’s death with careful and evocative detail. I, too, mourn her loss even as I celebrate that such love, such partnership, existed at all.”
—Julie Barton, New York Times bestselling author of Dog Medicine

“…a quiet stunner of a memoir… the book never loses momentum, thanks in large part to his vivid writing… This is a tender, moving, and resonant account of how life continues whether one wants it to or not.”
–Publisher’s Weekly Best Books

 

“His words carry with them the solemnity of death, love, and longing and a tinge of anger as he wrestles with the facts and struggles to determine what went wrong on that fateful day. Santlofer offers a man’s perspective on emotional topics, of feeling inadequate on multiple levels, of wanting to have been a better husband and his desire to be a better father to their only daughter.”
-Kirkus Reviews

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