'Half my life ago, I killed a girl.'
So begins acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss' Half a Life, the true story of how one outing in his father's Oldsmobile resulted in the death of a classmate and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. The police assured him there was nothing he could have done to avoid hitting Celine's swerving bike, but for half his life Strauss has grappled with desperate feelings of remorse and self-blame. Here he lays bare his history - collision, funeral, the queasy drama of a high-stakes court case - and what starts as a personal tale of a tragic event opens into the story of how to live with a very hard fact: we can try our human best in the crucial moment, and it might not be good enough.
Half a Life is a nakedly honest, ultimately hopeful examination of guilt, responsibility, and living with the past.
'More than simply brave, it is a searingly self-disciplined work of literature, and of self-examination . After all that admirable work and all that attentive detail, when he does finally reach a place of cautious hope, the impact is staggering and unforgettable.' - Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
'Precise, elegantly written, fresh, wise, and very sad. Rich and meaningful, the care and thought that have gone into every line of Half a Life are indicative not only of a very talented writer, but of a proper human being.' - Nick Hornby
'At the center of this elegant, painful, stunningly honest memoir thrums a question fundamental to what it means to be human: What do we do with what we've been given?' - New York Times Book Review
'A mesmerising memoir by a skilled writer.' - Herald Sun
'Crisp and understated... This meditation on loss and remorse must have been a nightmare to write but is subtle, moving, and quietly brilliant.' - The Age
'Half a Life inspires admiration, sentence by sentence.This artfully and simply presented book could be read in a few hours, but its intensity commands more attention. This is memoir in its finest form, a fully imagined and bittersweet book that transcends a single misstep.' - Chicago Tribune (Editor's Pick)