By James Agee
The vintage American novel, re-published for the a centesimal anniversary of James Agee's birth
Published in 1957, years after its author's demise on the age of forty-five, A loss of life within the Family remains a near-perfect murals, an autobiographical novel that comprises the most evocative depictions of loss and grief ever written. As Jay Follet hurries again to his domestic in Knoxville, Tennessee, he's killed in a motor vehicle accident—a tragedy that destroys not just a existence, but in addition the family happiness and contentment of a tender kin. a singular of significant braveness, lyric strength, and strong emotion, A loss of life within the Family is a masterpiece of yankee literature.
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Additional resources for A Death in the Family (Penguin Classics)
Hit’s two-thirty-seven, Jay. ” “I ought to be there by daylight, Ralph, you tell Mother I’m coming right on up just quicks I can get there. Ralph. ” “Awf an’ on, Jay. He’s been speakin yore name, Jay, hit like to break muh heart. ” “Cut it out, Ralph. What the hell you think I am? If he gets conscious just let him know I’m comin’. ” But now he did not want to say it. He said it anyway. “I know I got no room to talk, but—try not to drink so much that Mother will notice it. Drink some coffee fore you go back.
It is not of the games children play in the evening that I want to speak now, it is of a contemporaneous atmosphere that has little to do with them: that of the fathers of families, each in his space of lawn, his shirt fishlike pale in the unnatural light and his face nearly anonymous, hosing their lawns. The hoses were attached at spiggots that stood out of the brick foundations of the houses. The nozzles were variously set but usually so there was a long sweet stream of spray, the nozzle wet in the hand, the water trickling the right forearm and the peeled-back cuff, and the water whishing out a long loose and low-curved cone, and so gentle a sound.
He knew that each of them knew of the other’s well-being, and of the reasons for it, and knew how each depended on the other, how each meant more to the other, in this most important of all ways, than anyone or anything else in the world; and that the best of this wellbeing lay in this mutual knowledge, which was neither concealed nor revealed. He knew these things very distinctly, but not, of course, in any such way as we have of suggesting them in words. There were no words, or even ideas, or formed emotions, of the kind that have been suggested here, no more in the man than in the boy child.
A Death in the Family (Penguin Classics) by James Agee