Half A Life

Half A Life

A Memoir

Book Club Kit - 2011
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Random House, Inc.

In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad's Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play mini-golf. Then: a classmate swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. With piercing insight and stark prose, Darin Strauss leads us on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey—graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force.

Look for special features inside, including an interview with Colum McCann.

Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011
Edition: 2011 Random House Trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780812982534
Characteristics: 211 p. ; 21 cm

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multcolib_susannel Sep 26, 2017

Why did Celine ride her bike across two lanes of traffic into the path of Darin's car? Why did she die and he is still alive?

May 31, 2013

So well-written, and gives such insight into the overwhelming regret and remorse and guilt attendant on being the one to have killed someone - these emotions all being strong even though it was by an accident that simply could not have been avoided. Darin Strauss was completely exonerated of any wrong-doing, but, understandably, the accident coloured his life, and this memoir shows how. A real eye-opener.

Aug 10, 2011

This is a thoughtful and courageous memoir about how one quite random moment can haunt the rest of your life. Strauss' heart is wide-open here, and he also writes beautifully. Both sad and hopeful.

Jan 06, 2011

This wasn't the in-depth memoir that I expected from Darin Strauss. I wanted to know how the incident central to the book propelled his writing career and especially if there was a connection (no pun intended) to his choice of the subject matter of "Chang and Eng" which I really enjoyed.

debwalker Dec 09, 2010

Imagine yourself a few weeks from your high school graduation, cruising down the road with a carload of your friends. Now imagine the almost inconceivable: a fellow student riding her bicycle swerves into the path of your car and is killed instantly. Novelist Strauss was the driver of that car in May 1988 and this memoir is the intense, searching account of the path he traveled from that grim day to the present.


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