7 Books that Grapple with Grief

Poet and author Tom Malmquist shares the books that anchor him through immeasurable loss.


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I’m not sure I trust memoirs, especially memoirs about grief. Telling a story is always a fiction because we’re constrained by our limited perspective. This is why I call my book In Every Moment We Are Still Alive a novel. It’s more trustworthy if I can acknowledge that I’m limited by how I experienced the loss of my wife and father, while at the same time becoming a father myself.

When creating a list of books about grief, I naturally gravitated toward books that I believe speak a Truth, even if it’s fiction. As heavy, sad, and painful as it can be to discuss loss, finding the art in a sea of meaninglessness ultimately tethers me to life and helps me feel love again.

Featured Image: Hadis Safari/Unsplash; Featured Illustration: Elsa Jenna; Author Photo: Viktor Gardsater

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TOM MALMQUIST is a poet and sportswriter living in Sweden. In Every Moment We Are Still Alive is his first novel. He was the first novelist in Sweden to win the country’s prestigious Dagens Nyheter Culture Prize.