Grief Imprint Launched by Akashic Books

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sky1The new imprint of Akashic Books, Gracie Belle will focus on “grief, loss and recovery” titles. The imprint seek to “reaffirm for authors and readers that none of us are alone in our journeys Author Ann Hood has been tapped to head the imprint, which is named after Hood’s daughter who passed away very young. Hood penned the 2008 memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, “about the death of her five-year-old daughter. Since the title’s publication, she has become a key figure in a growing community of writers and readers focused on literary efforts to address the tragedy of premature death, loss and grief.”

When asked about books dealing with grief, Hood said that “not one [of these manuscripts] has found a [publishing] home. The rejections are always the same: no one wants to read something so sad. Unfortunately there is an ever-growing audience for grief books as everyday new people lose loved ones. And those people—like me—are seeking well-written, honest, hopeful stories to help them through.”

Now You See the Sky by Catharine H. Murray will be the first title released by Gracie Belle. The book details how the author and her family dealt with her son’s cancer diagnosis. The book will be released in November. Here are details from Gracie Belle’s website:

Now You See the Sky is a memoir about love, marriage, motherhood, illness, and death. After college, Catharine H. Murray travels to a small town on the banks of the Mekong River in Thailand to work in a refugee camp and learn about life. There she gradually outgrows the shell of her American worldview, as her interior world begins to attune to this new one that moves with a slower rhythm and deeper calm than she ever imagined. Within a year, she falls in love with a local man and, two years later, marries him. Together, they have three sons.

When their middle song is diagnosed with cancer at age five, the family moves from rural Thailand, to Seattle, to Bangkok, before they settle on a remote mountaintop to battle the disease as the child slips into a decline. Full of wisdom and honesty, Now You See the Sky allows the reader to witness the fathomless loss of a beloved child and learn how tragedy can transform us, expand our vision, and make us more fully alive.