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The Obituary Writer



"This is a beautifully structured, deeply empathic book that reminds the reader that a life of waiting is a life wasted."

The Washington Post

"It is a rare novelist who can summon the creative nerve to plumb the depths of grief, but that is just what Ann Hood does here with such compassion and grief." Andre Dubus lll


​The idea for The Obituary Writer came to me when I was asked to write someone's obituary--one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But when I finished, the character of Vivien Lowe, and obituary writer in 1919 California, was born. Writing obituaries not only helps the families of the dead, but also helps Vivien come to terms with the loss of her lover in the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. Vivien's story of searching for that lover alternates with the story of Claire, an unhappy wife who is struggling to find herself, on the day JFK is inaugurated. My great delight in writing this novel was to have these women's lives intersect in a surprising and profound way.


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