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Half a Life

Half a Life

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Written by Darin StraussAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Darin Strauss

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • On Sale: May 31, 2011
  • Price: $13.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8129-8253-4 (0-8129-8253-3)
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.
about this book

Winner, National Book Critics Circle Award (Autobiography)

Selected for 2011-2012 Honors Lecture of the Year at Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, AR)
Selected to address The Berkeley Carroll School (Brooklyn, NY)
Selected for common reading at College of Coastal Georgia (Brunswick, GA)
Selected as the 2012 Lambert Fellow at The Deerfield Academy (Deerfield, MA)
Selected for common reading at Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers, FL)
Selected for summer reading at Joliet Township High School (Joliet, IL)

Selected for common reading at Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
Selected for the Visiting Writers Series at Virginia Commonwealth (Richmond, VA)
Selected for One Book, One Community at Waterford Kettering High (Waterford, MI)


In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss recounts a tragedy and its aftermath. In the last month of his high school career, just after turning eighteen, Strauss is behind the wheel of his father’s Oldsmobile, driving with friends, having “thoughts of mini-golf, another thought of maybe just going to the beach.” Then out of the blue: a collision that results in the death of a bicycling classmate and that shadows the rest of his life. In haunting, penetrating prose, Darin Strauss explores loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force.

“Elegant, painful, stunningly honest . . . huge [and] heartbreaking.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Darin Strauss has spent a good part of his adult life reliving, regretting and reflecting on a single, split-second incident. Half a Life is a starkly honest account of that fateful moment and his life thereafter . . . penetrating, thought-provoking.” —The Washington Post

“A book that inspires admiration, sentence by sentence . . . This is a memoir in its finest form, a fully imagined and bittersweet book.”—Chicago Tribune

“Painfully raw and beautifully written.”—Los Angeles Times

“A remarkable, beyond-brave memoir . . . Strauss pinpoints truths that most of us would find indescribable, and ultimately arrives at an insight as profound as it is impossible to accept.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

“Lyrical and haunting.”—San Francisco Chronicle