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A Death in the Family

by James Agee

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.

As Jay Follet hurries back to his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, he is killed in a car accident – a tragedy that destroys not only a life, but also the domestic happiness and contentment of a young family.

Winner of the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

“The work of a writer whose power with English words can make you gasp.” Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review

“It is, in the full sense, poetry. . . . The language of the book, at once luminous and discreet . . . remains in the mind.” The New Republic

“Wonderfully alive.” The New Yorker


01 January, 1957

About James Agee

James Agee was born in Tennessee in 1909 and graduated from Harvard University.  His renowned study of Alabama sharecroppers during the Depression, 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men', appeared in 1941.  Agee was known for his movie reviews and screenplays, and published a volume of poetry and a novella.  He died in 1955, two years before his major work of fiction, A Death in the Family, was published and won the Pulitzer Prize.


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