If you missed the NYT Book Review this past Sunday, then you missed William Giraldi’s lovely feature highlighting Michigan author Thomas Lynch. Life With Death is certainly a review worth linking to, as William Giraldi’s elegant prose rests in kind compliment to that of the mastery of Mr. Lynch himself.
I recently finished Lynch’s book The Undertaking, and each and every page brought me to my knees. Breathless, I devoured Lynch’s words and marveled at his magical ability to turn the deep, raw sentiments of death into palatable wisps of humor; that he could so artfully craft a work on the death of Death itself. Though I finished The Undertaking weeks ago, I’m still bereft of deserving words for an author I have come to so admire.
It was with great fortune, then, that I fell upon William Giraldi’s review of Apparition & Late Fictions, which not only highlights Lynch’s first work of fiction but also his unique style and life perspective. “Lynch does not recoil from the gruesome facts of his trade or the insights they have allowed him,” notes Giraldi, “but he commands the light as well as the darkness. Nihilism is nowhere in these stories, and love is everywhere embraced.”
As Giraldi praises Lynch for adding “another chapter to one of the most memorable records in American letters,” I found myself thinking much the same of Giraldi. While it’s plain, midwestern truth that I’m far from the caliber of a New York Times reviewer, I can say that crafting even a simple review is not a breezy affair. So, as I endlessly groped in the dark for the ripple of words that might convey Lynch’s spirit, I swooned at Giraldi’s easy capture and fluidity; “…the stories and novella here are gifts of precision, narratives with the poise to depict entire lives unstrung by the end of things.”
If you fear the talk of endangered book reviews, Giraldi’s review won’t soothe your soul. For those of us who are purists to the book and its circling words, we ultimately rely on the grace of one good work leading to another. Therefore, not only in Thomas Lynch have I found a new literary hero, but I can now pursue the pleasure of seeking out the works of William Giraldi as well.
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-Post by Megan Shaffer
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