In this winner of the Miami Book Fair de Groot Prize for Best Novella, life is coming fast at 20-something April. All the heavy stuff of adulthood—including the death of a loved one—seems to have happened to her all at once, leaving her reeling, and challenging her wit and grit in ways she never imagined.
There’s an aching sense, beneath the book’s surface, of the rigid corseting that just barely contains modern life ... Death and Other Holidays is the rare book that treats relentless, humdrum grief with humor and pathos—and without a shred of sentimentality. Before its publication, it won the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize for the Novella, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a realist work in an unreal world. Vogel honors mortality and our awareness of it as the organizing facts of our humanity. With unparalleled tenderness, she recognizes our celebrations of life as heroic efforts to think about literally anything else. But over the course of one calendar year in April’s life she also reminds us: Death is never far away, try as we might to ignore it.
... shaggy, conversational, and unabashedly poetic ... It's as real a depiction of falling in love as you can read ... Death and Other Holidays brilliantly balances humor and anger, sorrow and beauty. Vogel's subjects may be grief and death, but her writing reflects life as we live it, life with its many intricate, unnoticed balances.
Short but mighty ... Maintains a remarkable confluence of palpable mood, a capricious and shifting tone, and wise character studies ... An original and affecting tour of family, the calendar, and the days that bind us to both.