In this wrenching memoir, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates describes the unexpected death in 2008 of her husband of 46 years and its surprising aftermath. A Widow's Story illuminates her struggle to comprehend a life without the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of "death-duties," and the solace of friendship. She writes unflinchingly of grief and acknowledges a widow's desperation as she yields to the recognition that "this is my life now."
"As enthralling as it is painful…. It is characteristic of Oates’s superb balancing of the intellectual and the emotional that she enables a reader to experience Smith's death in the dramatic way she herself did."—Washington Post
"Flourishes of black humor punctuate the drumbeat of grief, setting the book apart from works such as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking."—Wall Street Journal
"A brave, dark but slyly mordant memoir…. Oates rages at the dying of the light of her life in this unflinching, generous portrait of the terror of emptiness."—NPR