Grief

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A Cool Mona Book Review: The Door

The Door by Magda Szabo, one of Hungary’s most important 20th-­century writers. This novel has quite the history: The Door, Szabo’s best-known novel, was originally published in Hungary in 1987, translated from the Hungarian into English in 1995 and again in 2005 for British publication. The British translation won the 2006 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and …

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A Cool Mona Book Review: H Is For Hawk

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, published 2014. Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and 2014 Costa Book of the Year. Shortlisted for the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. An exquisitely-written literary meditation. A wholly enrapturing memoir of the year following the unexpected death of Macdonald’s father, Alisdair Macdonald, a …

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A Cool Mona Book Review: The Muralist

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro, published 2015. Talk about timing. An important look at two world-changing topics: the refugees of pre-war WWII trying to enter the United States and the budding American school of Abstract Expressionism. A strange combination, you’re thinking, but not so according to the beautiful piece of historical fiction B.A. Shapiro paints. …

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How To Help A Person In Pain

You can’t assume you know what’s going on but you can find a compassionate way to ask. Don’t start sentences with “you”—it puts people on the defensive. So rather than “You’ve been different lately,” say “I notice you’re more tearful, more angry. Is this something you want to talk about?” And if so, tell her how …