Books about suffering loss but being better for it
January 17, 2014 6:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm going through some things that have both brought me a lot of sadness and presented an opportunity to change my life for the better. I'm wondering if there are any books the MeFi hive can recommend, novels, memoirs or otherwise. They should be about people who have suffered loss, perhaps enduring shame, but emerging better for it.

I've written on Ask MeFi before about having lost my fiance and the ground shifting from beneath my feet for it. So lost love books would be good, but anything along the lines of emerging a victor after being uprooted would be fine.
posted by Cybria to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. Sorry, don't know how to link on phone. Http://
posted by dysh at 6:34 AM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Janet Frame's autobiography tells the story of a writer who endured catastrophic losses on a personal level and was also subjected to a lot of social stigma and mistreatment when she was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. Jane Campion based a movie on the biography. The book would make quite depressing reading in places but (in my opinion) for the fact that you know she survived and indeed comes across as very strong in the writing.
posted by BibiRose at 6:36 AM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mennonite in a little black dress!
posted by misspony at 6:44 AM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl
posted by Shadow Boxer at 6:50 AM on January 17, 2014

I'm not sure the outcome of the Joan Didion books, but my mother says they were the best for her after my step-father died a couple years ago. (The Year of Magical Thinking is the one she started with)
posted by DigDoug at 7:00 AM on January 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

Seconding Wild, and suggesting Cheryl Strayed's book of Dear Sugar advice columns - Tiny Beautiful Things - about people suffering (loss) to extreme degrees, and Cheryl's own experiences, and with really lovely insights.
posted by magdalemon at 7:48 AM on January 17, 2014

I asked a somewhat similar question about human endurance and strength through suffering.
posted by desjardins at 11:06 AM on January 17, 2014

This article

posted by enzymatic at 11:32 AM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

It is.
posted by raider at 8:12 AM on January 19, 2014

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