Winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize, The Loved Ones presents an intimate portrait of family grief, for fans of Maggie Nelson's Jane: A Murder and Kristin Prevallet's I, Afterlife
There are so many ways to bury the dead. In an autobiographical series of essays, The Loved Ones explores the deaths of four family members across three generations: an inexplicable double murder, a fatal car accident, a long illness, and a conscripted solider killed in action.
Piece by piece, each essay explores the death a loved one in
a collage of vignettes: the loss, the aftermath, the funerals, and the rituals used
to say goodbye to the body. As the investigation deepens, Davis lines up other
forms of death--capital punishment and murder; medically-assisted suicide and
"natural" death from disease; military conscription and "freak accident"--to see
what comes to the surface.
The Loved Ones is about the intricate reality of grief, the instability of time and memory in the face of loss, and the feeling of being left behind still living. It asks, what does it mean to bury our loved ones when our only desire is to never let them go?