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by James Agee

Download Death in the Family (Amsco Literature Series) fb2, epub

ISBN: 087720750X
Author: James Agee
Language: English
Publisher: Amsco School Pubns Inc (June 1, 1970)
Pages: 279
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 813
Size Fb2: 1598 kb
Size ePub: 1790 kb
Size Djvu: 1189 kb
Other formats: lrf mbr lrf lit


Forty years after its original publication, James Agee's last novel seems, more than . A Death in the Family Amsco literature series Pulitzer Prize in letters: Fiction Vintage international.

Forty years after its original publication, James Agee's last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic.

James Agee starts the book with an equally memorable sentence, as well as introductory passage: "We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville, Tennessee in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child

James Agee starts the book with an equally memorable sentence, as well as introductory passage: "We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville, Tennessee in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child. From the title to the section, you know that the year is 1915, a date that can evoke nostalgia. The men, and yes it was mainly men, came home from work, ate dinner at 6:00 pm, and with no TV, at 6:30 would go outside to water the lawn, and the evenings were enjoyed on the front porch.

A Death in the Family is an autobiographical novel by author James Agee, set in Knoxville, Tennessee. He began writing it in 1948, but it was not quite complete when he died in 1955 (with reputedly many portions having been written in the home of his friend Frances Wickes). Agee's widow and children were left with little money after Agee's death and McDowell wanted to help them by publishing the work.

Complete and Unabridged. It was finally decided to print these in italics and to put them after Parts I and II. It seemed presumptuous to try to guess where he might have inserted them. The short section Knoxville: Summer of 1915, which serves as a sort of prologue, has been added.

A Death in the Family book. There is no plot to speak of, only a series of events occurring one after another over the course of a couple days. Once again, the italicized flashbacks notwithstanding. If you haven’t picked up on this yet, I’m not a fan). More about James Agee and his family: Agee also wrote a shorter autobiographical novel, The Morning Watch, about his years at an Episcopalian school in Tennessee. His spiritual life and religious questioning are an important part of this book as well.

The classic American novel, re-published for the 100th anniversary of James Agee's birth A Penguin Classic One of Time's All-Time 100 Best Novels 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 loss and grief ever written.

Complete summary of James Agee's A Death in the Family

Complete summary of James Agee's A Death in the Family. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of A Death in the Family Does the book "A Death in the Family" have a theme?

series SparkNotes Literature Guide Series. Books related to A Death in the Family (SparkNotes Literature Guide). A Death in the Family. By the Rivers of Brooklyn.

series SparkNotes Literature Guide Series. You are in the United States store. At Home in the World.

The tragedy of Jay Follet's sudden death destroys his family's secure and loving world

Comments:

Enila
The touchstone of the book is the tragic and improbable death of Jay Follett; a husband, father, brother, son, son-in-law, friend, and citizen. The story of the raw and brutal emotional and psychological impacts of Jay's death on those left behind is told with astounding power. There are no words wasted as Agee's characters take on the faith challenging and cruel randomness of an untimely death such as Jay's. It was in the descriptions of the children's grief, confusion, fear and skepticism; however, that the book really got to me.

If you read books, read this one.
Doath
The first time I read this was over 30 years ago in college. I loved it then and never forgot how much I loved it, so recently I thought I should revisit it. It's a sad story of course, but it's uplifting and encouraging and beautifully written.
Qutalan
A sad, heart-wrenching novel, but wonderful. This is an autobiographical novel, and you can feel the emotion of the author in the protagonist of the story, the little boy.When I started reading it, I didn't want to put the book down.
Gabar
This is a stunningly beautiful and thoughtful book. The author's ability to remember how life looks to a very young child as well as to adults and his ability to describe those visions is unsurpassed. The book is a portrait of individuals, families, and a way of life in America that left this reader deeply moved .
Flamehammer
It was interesting to read how the various characters reacted to a death, especially from the children's perspective. As an older adult, so much of the book was what I had heard others say regarding the death of someone they knew and/or loved but not all at one time. The emphasis on how the person died, what lead up to the death, the actual cause of death, etc. are recurring themes as they are in every death.
Rleillin
I have read the list of Pulitzer Prize winners many times, thinking that if a book is a winner it must be somewhat worthwhile. I always came across A Death in the Family by James Agee, which I spurned because of the title. I didn't want to go there, the saddest of all human experiences. But finally I did.
I could say that it is a beautifully written book, which it is. I could say that it is a work of art, which it is. I could also say that a work of art can lift you as high as you can go or shatter your soul, depending on what you bring to it. Well, I almost lost my daughter last year and I lost my mother a few months ago, and I wasn't emotionally equipped to handle this book. It left me shattered.
I would definitely say you should read this book. It is not Faulkner or Styron by any means, but it has to be in the top ten of books written by a Southerner. But I warn you. Read it when you yourself are not having emotional distress. Otherwise, it just might be more than you can handle.
LONUDOG
My older Avon edition, with the far more appropriate cover of the empty easy chair, had only one "blurb" on the back, from the now defunct "Saturday Review," which stopped publication in 1986. It said: "There's nothing quite like the excitement of coming upon a book and suddenly having it explode at you and fill you with wonder. Such a book is `A Death in the Family'." The quintessential blurb. I've remembered it for the 43 years since my first reading, and upon the second reading, find it equally appropriate and descriptive.

James Agee starts the book with an equally memorable sentence, as well as introductory passage: "We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville, Tennessee in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child." From the title to the section, you know that the year is 1915, a date that can evoke nostalgia. The men, and yes it was mainly men, came home from work, ate dinner at 6:00 pm, and with no TV, at 6:30 would go outside to water the lawn, and the evenings were enjoyed on the front porch. Agee has a brilliantly precise depiction of the ritual of watering the lawn, from the noise in the hose, to the bell-shaped film of water that the spray can assume. I've rarely been able to use a hose since without recalling this descriptive passage.

The novel spans the two or three days which surround the death of Jay Follet in a car accident, and the subsequent impact his death had on his wife, their two small children, as well as the rest of the family. Yes, it was a simpler time, with cars in their infancy, and we learn that it was one cotter pin that fell out of the steering mechanism which resulted in the crash.

Much of the book is told from the point of view of the Follet's son, Rufus. Rarely does an adult writer have the ability to tell a story through the eyes of a child without mudding the waters with adult sensibilities and knowledge. In Agee's case though, I thought he hit ever note true. It certainly brought back a flood of memories from my own childhood, and how I had rarely thought about certain aspects since. The scene in which the older children make a performance out of making fun of 5-year old Rufus, who is only seeking their recognition and approval, is heart-breaking. Ah, the cruelty of children.

There were numerous other vignettes of equal intensity and insight, and these included a depiction of the alcoholism of Jay's younger brother Ralph; the conflicts in the marriage of Jay and Mary over alcohol and religion; a shopping trip with an aunt, with the importance of making your own style selections; the heartache of extreme age over 100; and a description of the night, from a child's bedroom. Agee's writing evokes deep emotion, again and again.

Many of us have, or may have to explain what death is to a young child. Forget all the "How to..." books on this one. Agee has written the sine qua non account. Agee also had a dim view of the "men of the cloth," and wrote a scathing portrait of the obtuse, pompous Father Jackson, who alienated both Rufus, and his sister Catherine, with numerous faux pas. Again, how much was projection of adult sentiments onto children? On the first reading, I obviously did not know, but on the second, something similar happened to my own children, when they were 6 and 7. They saw through the bad attitude of the "preacher man," and said they never wanted to go back; and they haven't. But it is Mary's brother, Andrew who delivers the most scathing critique, because Father Jackson would not perform all the rites since Jay had never been baptized: "Genuflecting, and ducking and bowing and scraping, and basting themselves with signs of the Cross, and all that disgusting hocus-pocus, and you come to one simple, single act of Christian charity and what happens? The rules of the Church forbid it. He is not a member of our little club. I tell you, Rufus, its enough to make a man puke up his soul."

42 years ago I recommended this book to a well-read friend and mentor from East Tennessee, and he came back with the verdict that this was just a "simple story, OK, but of not much significance." It has bothered me, in a low key way, lo' these many years. Was I originally right, or was his assessment correct? Surely I was right the first time... and the second reading has only confirmed, and even strengthened that assessment. I consider it one of the top 10 American novels ever written. A 6-star read.
One of the best books I have ever read ... my life was enriched by Agee's incredible, intense observation and skill with the English language. He focuses -- with love, with an accurate eye -- and does not let up until he captures truth. An amazing achievement.

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