The Light of the World
In The Light of the World, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss.

The Light of the World is at once an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well-lived and a paean to the priceless gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares what matters most, The Light of the World is required reading.

The Light of the World Details

Book TitleThe Light of the World
Book Author
by 4,380 users

The Light of the World Reviews

  • Alison
    Jan 11, 2017


    I received this book at part of a Goodreads give away. It was beautiful, sad, thoughtful, and full of hope. It will help anyone really reflect on their lives and the lives around them in a way that encourages love and light. What we all need right now. ...

  • Lindsay
    Nov 2, 2016


    3.5 stars ...

  • Robert Blumenthal
    Oct 21, 2016

    Robert Blumenthal

    Elizabeth Alexander is the wonderful African American poet who read one of her poems at the Inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009. Three years later, her beloved husband Ficre died suddenly from a heart attack. This book is a recounting of their life together and how she and her two son...

  • Kate
    Sep 15, 2016


    Finished just in time to see her tonight at the Fitz. Stunning. ...

  • Ammara Abid
    Apr 24, 2016

    Ammara Abid

    The book was good, nicely written but I didn't connect with it emotionally. For me it's a memoir with all good memories having a perfect life & everything was going in a flow. But it shouldn't be after the death of Ficre (her husband) that's what I thought. I should wept at the dea...

  • Jennifer
    Mar 14, 2016


    This memoir reminded me of Joan Didion's A Year of Magical Thinking. A sudden loss felt so powerfully. I haven't read Magical Thinking in a while (and want to re-read) but appreciated how Alexander described so poetically the companionship felt between husband and wife. What a gift for...

  • Barbara A
    Feb 22, 2016

    Barbara A

    Have I been reading for 67 years just to get to this perfect book? Can it be possible that a poet who professes no religion can write something so sacramental? Will I hold this as close to my heart as a personal blessing? And may I please give this a thousand thousand stars, as it has ...

  • Sarah
    Feb 16, 2016


    Every once in a great while I read a book that realigns my life- this is one of those books. Alexander's prose and insights are deep and hopeful. A true love story. She reads the audio- probably my favorite audible ever. ...

  • Bonnie Brody
    Jan 22, 2016

    Bonnie Brody

    It is not often that I read a book as beautiful and powerful as 'The Light of the World'. Written by the poet Elizabeth Alexander, it is an homage to her beloved husband Ficre who died suddenly at the age of 50. Theirs was a strong love, recognized at first sight and forged through a s...

  • TheSkepticalReader
    Jan 12, 2016


    Possibly one of the most beautifully crafted memoirs you can write in the memory of a loved one. It is written in the most breathtaking prose I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Each word is a story of its own. ...