‘This is a beautiful book, a remarkable, cadenced recollection of how grief lives in the body. It is poetry as a kind of dance. You have to read it’ EDMUND DE WAAL A unique, intimate and beautiful exploration of grief, loss, healing and faith, that looks back to the childhood moment when Marie-Elsa R. Bragg’s mother committed suicide We sat in the kitchen across the small wooden table from each other. She cried like banks bursting, then silence; like winds blowing through her shoulders, chest bouncing, then long shallow breaths. She ruptured and I watched, still, emotionless. ‘You must stop crying.’ When Marie-Elsa R. Bragg was just 6 years old, her mother committed suicide. Now, many years later, Marie-Elsa returns to that night. Going back to that moment, inhabiting this defining tragedy, allows for an exploration of the grief but also brings healing – as well as the affirmation that it is her experiences as a priest that have carried her. In a unique and remarkable mix of prose and poetry, and written partly as a series of unsent letters to both her mother and father, Sleeping Letters is a way of connecting to past family, an attempt to reconcile with loss, as well as a radical exploration of Marie-Elsa’s own faith. While harrowing and unforgettable, it is also an immensely beautiful book, with a luminous sense of a daughter’s love.
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