Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking. This book was terrifying to me. I don't want to think about how precarious life is and how fundamentally powerless I am to control it. And yet I've been circling around this knowledge daily, learning how fragile and intricate is our construction, and how contingent.
But, back to the story. Joan Didion is a graceful writer, and her precision and clarity make her emotion more powerful. It's not really a memoir of grief, but a story of the loves of her life, her husband and child, of companionship and friendship and living together, brought into relief by sudden absence. She conveys her grief and love in stark and thoughtful narrative.