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In literature, new attention to old age, dying

In literature, new attention to old age, dying

"O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark …" —T.S. Eliot, "Four Quartets" The Angel of Death — also known as the Old Ferryman, the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse or Mr. G. Reaper himself — is cutting a wider swath than ever through American literature. In the past four months, three Pulitzer Prize-winning authors have released novels that walk their characters right up to the valley of the shadow of death. Marilynne Robinson published "Lila" in October — the third book in her "Gilead" series about two elderly ministers approaching the end of life. One month later, Richard Ford's novel, "Let Me Be...

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