The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman    
The Coincidence Makers
Meet the author
Yoav Blum
Gods of Howl Mountain
Meet the author
Taylor Brown
The Recipe Box
Meet the author
Viola Shipman

Leah Hager Cohen

Dear Librarians,

When I was seventeen, I wrote a short story about a little girl who, sitting in a crowded hospital waiting room, suddenly notices bruises on all the people around her—not the patients, but the "healthy" people there to visit loved ones. It was a bad story but a good idea, I think: the beginning of my understanding that we are all damaged, all hurting, in ways big or small, obvious or invisible, ever present or nearly forgotten. Perhaps that little girl is the literary precursor of Biscuit, one of the main characters in my new novel, THE GRIEF OF OTHERS.

THE GRIEF OF OTHERS feels to me, despite its title, not sad. True, it contains a death. But it's also about secrets and intimacy and the different ways we can be strong together. I love these characters the more for their many imperfections. We are all such funny things, every person I know: brave and suffering, noble and ridiculous.

Plato is supposed to have said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." It's sobering to think that each of us is embattled, but comforting to realize how this places us in good company.

Yours in good company,
The Grief of Others / Leah Hager Cohen / Riverhead Hardcover / Hardcover; 384 Pages
Price: $26.95 / ISBN: 978-1594488054 / Published: September, 2011
Leah Hager Cohen is one of our featured authors this week. Click here to view her reader comments and feel free to use them in your newsletters.