A Death in the Family
The classic American novel, re-published for the 100th anniversary of James Agee's birth
Published in 1957, two years after its author's death at the age of forty-five, A Death in the Family remains a near-perfect work of art, an autobiographical novel that contains one of the most evocative depictions of…
Why read it?
1 author picked A Death in the Family as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
James Agee might be one of the most underappreciated American writers of the 20th century and one of its great stylists. I splurged for a first-edition hardcover of this novel: its pages smell like 1957, the year it was published, two years after Agee died suddenly at 45. It won the Pulitzer Prize. Its famous prologue, “Knoxville: Summer 1915,” is a masterpiece. This autobiographical novel, largely based on the death of Agee’s father in 1915, tells the story of a boy’s father killed in a car accident. It is an alternately quiet and lyrical work that is as much…
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