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Lost & Found

by Kathryn Schulz


Gosh, I loved this book.   If you’re in the mood for something thought-provoking, something philosophical, something intimate, something heart-warming while at the same time heart-breaking, something hugely relatable, something ultimately incredibly uplifting, please read Lost & Found.

Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of these relationships into a brilliant exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery – whether it’s the loss of something small like your car keys or something monumental like the loss of a loved one and equally, things found can be the recovery of said lost keys or the discovery of something entirely new like a planet or the love of your life.

As the blurb says: Three very different American families form the heart of Lost & Found: the one that made Schulz’s father, a charming, brilliant, absentminded Jewish refugee; the one that made her partner, an equally brilliant farmer’s daughter and devout Christian; and the one she herself makes through marriage. But Schulz is also attentive to other, more universal kinds of conjunction: how private happiness can coexist with global catastrophe, how we get irritated with those we adore, how love and loss are themselves unavoidably inseparable. The resulting book is part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that is simultaneously full of wonder and joy and wretchedness and suffering – a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.

Oh!  It’s lovely.  Kathryn Schulz is a Pulitzer prize winning writer on the New Yorker and she has totally captured our complicated lives and our common experience in beautiful, memorable prose – my copy is filled with underlining and highlighted passages!  And the reviews have been stellar…

Schulz shows that being conflicted between two emotions, tragedy and happiness, or lost and found, is not to adulterate either but is to reach a completion. Immensely readable, lively and enjoyable, Lost & Found is also a profound and serious book. One to cherish  – SA Sunday Times

By the end of these exquisite existential wanderings, Schulz comes to a quiet truce with her finding that ‘life, too, goes by contraries . . . by turns crushing and restorative . . . comic and uplifting.’ Schulz’s canny observations are a treasure – Publishers Weekly 

exemplifies the best of what memoir can do – Oprah Daily

An extraordinary gift of a book, a tender, searching meditation on love and loss and what it means to be human. I wept at it, laughed with it, was entirely fascinated by it. I emerged feeling as if the world around me had been made anew. – Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

A searchingly intelligent memoir and psychological meditation. – Kirkus

‘Extraordinary . . . a profound and beautiful book . . . a moving meditation on grief and loss, but also a sparky celebration of joy, wonder and the miracle of love . . . Witty, wise, beautifully structured and written in clear, singing prose’ – Sunday Times

Luminescent . . . Deft, roving and elegantly written . . . Lost & Found is itself a marvel of a meditation. It left me moved, inspired and ultimately elated – Financial Times

Eloquent and tender . . . a breathtakingly beautiful set-piece, a celebration of the ordinariness and sublimity of our most fundamental connections: to parents, to children, to lovers. – Observer

Here’s a fabulous Daily Maverick Q & A that the author did with Rebecca Davis.

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