When Cheryl Strayed was asked by The Boston Globe to name a book she finds herself recommending time and again, she chose The Glen Rock Book of the Dead. Now that beloved book has a sequel: The Baltimore Book of the Dead, another collection of portraits of the dead, their compressed narratives weaving a unusual, richly populated memoir. Approaching mourning and memory with intimacy, humor, and an eye for the idiosyncratic, the story begins in the 1960s in Marion Winik’s native New Jersey, winds through Austin, Texas and rural Pennsylvania, and finally settles in her current home of Baltimore.
Winik begins with a portrait of her mother, the Alpha, introducing locales and language around which other stories will orbit: the power of family, home, and love; the pain of loss and the tenderness of nostalgia; the backdrop of nature and public events. From there, she goes on to create a highly personal panorama of the last half century of American life. Joining the Alpha are the Man Who Could Take Off His Thumb, the Babydaddy, the Warrior Poetess, El Suegro, and the Thin White Duke, not to mention a miniature poodle and a goldfish.
Marion Winik, longtime All Things Considered commentator, is the author of First Comes Love, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, and seven other books. She writes the Bohemian Rhapsody column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com, and is the host of Baltimore WYPR’s The Weekly Reader radio show. She reviews books for Newsday, People, Kirkus Reviews, and other venues, and is a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. She is a professor in the M.F.A. program at the University of Baltimore.
Michele Filgate is a contributing editor at Literary Hub and on the board of the National Book Critics Circle. Her work has appeared in Longreads, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Refinery29, Slice, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, Salon, Interview Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Barnes & Noble Review, Poets & Writers,CNN.com, Fine Books & Collections Magazine, DAME Magazine, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Time Out New York, People, The Daily Beast, O, The Oprah Magazine, Men's Journal, Vulture, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Star Tribune, The Quarterly Conversation, The Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. She teaches creative nonfiction for The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop and Catapult and is the founder of the Red Ink series. In 2016, Brooklyn Magazine named her one of "The 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture." She is currently at work on an anthology based on her Longreads essay, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in 2019.