Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir of Life and Love After Unimaginable Loss (Paperback)
May 2019 Indie Next List
“Some memoirs transcend the author’s experience and become universal—I always thought of those as the good ones. Then I read Jayson Greene’s memoir of loss and grief and was forced to confront the fullness of his individual humanity in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Grief is distinctly personal and Greene’s story of the death of his two-year-old child is simply unfathomable to me, yet his honesty and willingness to sit in the fearfulness of this new life resonated deeply. Once More We Saw Stars is a wonderfully written memoir that connects on the most basic human level.”
— Michelle Cavalier, Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
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“A gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss.”
Two-year-old Greta Greene is sitting with her grandmother on a park bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when a brick crumbles from a windowsill overhead, falls, and strikes her unconscious. She is immediately rushed to the hospital. Jayson Greene’s memoir begins with this event and with the anguish he and his wife, Stacy, confront in the wake of their daughter’s trauma and the hours leading up to her death. But Once More We Saw Stars quickly becomes a narrative that is as much about hope and healing as it is about grief and loss. Jayson recognizes, even in the midst of his ordeal, that there will be a life for him beyond it—that if only he can continue moving forward, from one moment to the next, he will survive what seems unsurvivable.
With raw honesty, deep emotion, and exquisite tenderness, Jayson Greene captures both the fragility of life and absoluteness of death, and most important of all, the unconquerable power of love. This is an unforgettable memoir of courage and transformation—and a book that will change the way you look at the world.
About the Author
Jayson Greene is a contributing writer and former senior editor at Pitchfork. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and GQ, among other publications. This is his first book. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.
“A miracle. . . . A narrative of grief and acceptance that is compulsively readable and never self-indulgent.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A masterful literary performance. . . . Greene offers a raw, luminous portrait of suffering and partial healing. . . . [A] beautiful, devastating book.” —The Boston Globe
“[Greene] writes gorgeously. . . . A valuable addition to the literature of grief.” —The Washington Post
“Masterful and compassionate. . . . An intensely moving, life-affirming story.” —Rolling Stone
“[A] melodic, sensitive tribute. . . . [Greene’s] emotionally transparent story resonates not just for the intense sadness at its core, but also its implicit message of perseverance.” —Entertainment Weekly
“What sets [this] memoir apart is [Greene’s] ability to illuminate the mundane moments that become surreal in the midst of trauma and tragedy. . . . Once More We Saw Stars offers glimpses of humor, light and love amid the loss.” —Time
“Anyone who has lost someone can find themselves in here. . . . Greene peels the skin right back on painfully intimate truths, and lets the air at something visceral in a way that many writers on death fail to do. The result is a grief memoir of rare . . . honesty.” —The Irish Times
“This minutely observed memoir will surely be helpful to other people whose world changes in an instant. Greene, a journalist, never flinches from his distress and is not ashamed to describe himself as he truly is as he struggles to carry on in a world where [his daughter] no longer exists.” —The Times (London)
“Heart-wrenching yet life-affirming. . . . An amazing and inspirational exploration on the meaning of grief and the interconnectedness of love and loss.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Compassionate and sensitively told, Greene’s story accomplishes an exceptionally difficult feat: transforming tragedy into both a spiritual journey and a celebration of wonder. . . . A poignantly uplifting memoir of moving forward after terrible loss.” —Kirkus Reviews