Instagram  Twitter  Facebook


The Baltimore Book of the Dead

Read Excerpt

Barnes & Noble

Marion Winik, The Baltimore Book Of The Dead

PBS NewsHour Best Book of the Year 
One of the Top Ten Books of the Year, Newark Star-Ledger

"An affecting collection of brief, incisive portraits of departed figures both public and private."

"By turns reverent and wry, intimate and universal, these pieces capture the essence of friends, neighbors, a tiny baby, a young man lost to fentanyl, and even a few celebrities (Prince, David Bowie). ... This slim volume offers a welcome salve to all of us, and encouragement to honor the people we've lost who are forever with us."
–Dawn Raffel,

"Spending time with dead people might make you wonder: Do I want to take this trip? You do, when Winik is telling the stories, two-page hits that read like flash nonfiction, highlight reels of what these people have meant to her, and sometimes to American culture, over the past 60 years ... Winik's voice is strong and clear, as if she has been called to sing these paeans and she will do it, she’s honored to do it, but she’s going to do it her way, with elation and sadness ... Death is always in season, and it takes someone of Winik’s good humor and willingness to say, in essence, see that big door there? The one we are all going to walk through? Let’s just take a little look now, and know you will be remembered, that you are loved."
–Nancy Rommelman, Newsday

"Feast on Marion Winik's jewelbox of a book filled with gold nuggets of prose and a fevered passion for life even though much is an homage to death itself. Every sentence is a carefully considered slam dunk ... Breathless, heartbreaking, invigorating."
Literary Hub

"With the same candid and humorous writing style she fine-tuned through her years as an All Things Considered commentator, Winik memorializes the departed in short essays that evoke a tender sense of connection in readers."
–Lauren LaRocca, Baltimore Magazine

"Every so often I stumble across books where my first reaction is regret. How have I never heard of this writer? My second reaction is a hunger to read all he or she has written. This does not happen often enough so, please know I do not toss this sort of praise lightly. Marion Winik is one of the most elegant, evocative and incisive writers I have encountered ... Her gift is using the fewest words to capture their spirits, and though as the title broadcasts, this is a book about the dead, it is a glorious account of living."
–Jacqeline Cutler, Newark Star-Ledger

"Empathy figures in Marion Winik's The Baltimore Book of the Dead, along with her sharp eye and wicked wit. This sequel to The Glen Rock Book of the Dead has more achingly beautiful and succinct obituaries of the people (and a few pets) from Winik's wide, idiosyncratic circle of family, friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. This superfast read will spur rereading and the terrible wish that more people in Winik's circle would expire just so she could memorialize them."
Library Journal, an Editors' Pick for Fall

"In writing about these dozens of deaths, the author is writing about life in general, how quickly it can change and how long a memory can persist, and her life in particular, "how big ideas about art and revolution were so easily infected with the stupid romance of self-destruction." ...  Insightful pieces with a cumulative impact."

"Captivating... Winik writes with a delightfully light and nuanced hand." 
Publishers Weekly, full review

"Marion Winik's writing is always a wild and true marvel and never more so than in her latest work, The Baltimore Book of the Dead. With riveting compassion, she looks at all the love and the pain and the detritus that accumulates in the corners of all of our lives and pieces together something sad and lovely and new out of it."
–Bill Clegg, author of Did You Ever Have a Family and Ninety Days

"You’ll want to read The Baltimore Book of the Dead as slowly as possible because every observation is a marvel, every sentence a heartbreak or a revelation of joy. This book is both brief and miraculous, and it will be finished before you’re ready to let it go. Like life."
–Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth

"This slim, deeply moving book reminds us of the beauty and pain and complexity in every life, no matter how obscure. Marion Winik’s prose is deceptively rich, suffused with quiet emotion and tender humor. She teaches us how to remember."
–Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers and Mrs. Fletcher

"The Baltimore Book of the Dead is a book about the living, a generous, loving celebration of the sometimes complex, sometimes sticky ties that bind people together. In this series of funny, poignant, and beautifully written portraits, Winik’s voice is so warmly intimate and frank and badass, I felt, on finishing this memoir, that they were all as lucky to know her as she was to know them."
–Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special and The Last Cruise

"Marion Winik is such an excellent writer that you will want to gobble up The Baltimore Book of the Dead, but you won’t. After each chapter you will pause, and take a  breath. You will have experienced the life and death of a stranger made friend, made familiar, through Winik’s compassionate genius. Savor every word."
–Abigail Thomas, author of Safekeeping and What Comes Next and How to Like It


contact Marion Winik on FaceBook