In these pages, Emily Rapp Black excavates the meaning of 'resilience,' putting aside brittle clichés about heroism and strength to uncover a richer, messier, more beautiful picture of what it means to live amidst both love and loss. This a lyrical, deep, funny, eyes-wide-open, ultimately comforting book. I adored it, and -- if you are searching for how to live in a broken world -- so will you.
Sanctuary is a book of rare power and grace. Emily Rapp explores the language and metaphors we use to describe life and loss, mining them for what's helpful and what's wanting. She tells unforgettable stories-some heartbreaking, many joyful-about being the mother of two children, one dead and one living, and in doing so reminds us that we can dwell in grief and gratitude at the same time. Reading this extraordinarily thoughtful writer and her luminous prose was, for me, sanctuary.
PRAISE FOR THE STILL POINT OF THE TURNING WORLD: 'A brilliant study of the wages of mortal love'
A radiant book steeped in deep feelings
A beautiful and passionate elegy for her son, a book that offers deep wisdom for any reader
Emily Rapp didn't want to tell this story. She had to. That necessity is evident in every word of this intelligent, ferocious, grace-filled, gritty, astonishing starlight of a book
PRAISE FOR SANCTUARY: Not since When Breath Becomes Air has a memoir conveyed such profound loss, alongside such luminous and life-affirming love. With exquisitely precise prose, Emily Rapp Black describes what it is like to mother a dead boy and an alive girl simultaneously, being pulled in both directions, juggling sorrow and guilt, but moving toward light and life. Sanctuary broke my heart and mended it, expanding it through truth and beauty.
Every once in a while, a book comes along that ushers us to the very center of a profound truth that we don't so much learn, as recognize. Emily Rapp takes us there in SANCTUARY, reminding us in achingly beautiful prose that pain and pleasure, grief and aliveness exist not apart, but together in the dark matter, the liminal space we occupy when we do what the living do: we love, we love, we love.
SANCTUARY is an absolute marvel-gorgeous and bold, astonishing in insight and unsparing in candor. With aching vulnerability and compassion, Emily Rapp Black maps the topography of heartrending loss and erects upon it a refuge of otherworldly resilience. As a writer, a mother, and woman, Black is a profound inspiration-not because she's fearless but because she's courageous. To understand the distinction, read this beautiful book.