Lost & Found: A Memoir (Hardcover)
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An enduring account of love and loss from one of the great writers of our time, The New Yorker’s Kathryn Schultz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“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 a little as if the world around me had been made anew.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk and Vesper Flights
Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery—from the maddening disappearance of everyday objects to the sweeping devastations of war, pandemic, and natural disaster; from finding new planets to falling in love.
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.
A staff writer at The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Kathryn Schulz writes with curiosity, tenderness, erudition, and wit about our finite yet infinitely complicated lives. Crafted with the emotional clarity of C. S. Lewis and the intellectual force of Susan Sontag, Lost & Found is an uncommon book about common experiences.
About the Author
Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Being Wrong. She won a National Magazine Award and a Pulitzer Prize for “The Really Big One,” her article about seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest. Lost & Found grew out of “Losing Streak,” a New Yorker story that was anthologized in The Best American Essays. Her work has also appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Food Writing. A native of Ohio, she lives with her family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
“An unfolding astonishment to read.”—Alison Bechdel, author of The Secret to Human Strength and Fun Home
“Kathryn Schulz has created a masterpiece of metaphysical insight, at once richly lyrical and piercingly specific.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon and Far from the Tree
“Lost & Found is the most daring of books: a memoir by a happy person. Deeply felt and exquisitely written, it’s an absorbing exploration of love and loss—not to mention meteorites, Dante, and bears. The prodigiously talented Kathryn Schulz has written about her life in a way that will change yours.”—Andy Borowitz, of “The Borowitz Report”
“Lost & Found is a deeply moving, richly illuminating exploration of loss and bliss. Schulz is never anything but the very best company, speaking nuanced truths from and about the deepest reaches of the heart.”—Leslie Jamison, author of Make It Scream, Make It Burn
“Kathryn Schulz has a singular way of turning a familiar idea around and around until it becomes cosmic, geological, wondrous. In Lost & Found she turns a memoir of love and death into an exploration of the way chance becomes fate and grief intertwines with gratitude. To read her is to be quietly amazed at hidden depths and histories—as if you were to discover a map of a continent written in the palm of your hand.”—Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror
“Just as every grief narrative is a reckoning with loss, every love story is a chronicle of finding,’ writes Pulitzer Prize winner Schulz (Being Wrong) in this stunning memoir. As Schulz recounts, she contended with the pain and ecstasy of both narratives. . . . 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 (starred review)
“Deeply felt. More than a reflection on the loss of a parent. It is about the idea of loss in general and the passage of time. Fresh and evocative . . . a poignant, loving, wise, and comforting meditation on grief from both a personal and collective perspective.”—Booklist (starred review)