“Grief is a universal truth.” Author Zoe Fishman on writing your way through loss

“Grief is a universal truth.” Author Zoe Fishman on writing your way through loss

Photograph by Karen Shacham Zoe Fishman When tragedy turned her world upside down, award-winning Zoe Fishman did what authors do: she wrote it all down. Fishman was busy raising two small sons with her husband Ronen Shacham when he died unexpectedly in 2017, transforming her overnight into a widow and a single mom. She and her sons survived the grueling, heart-expanding years that followed with the help of family and a close circle of friends. Through it all, Fishman, author of six books and the 2020 Georgia Author of the Year , kept —even when she had to move her office to the (unheated) garage during pandemic lockdowns while her sons remote-schooled inside. Her latest , The Fun Widow's Book Tour , out now from William Morrow, is the fruit of that labor; an intimate, memoir-like exploration of loss and widowhood, and an elegy to the community that surrounded her grieving family when they needed it most. (It's also very funny.) For Fishman, writing the novel was the ultimate catharsis: a way to remember her late husband, honor the journey she traveled in the wake of his death, and acknowledge that widowhood, while never welcome, is one of humanity's deep and complicated stories. Recently, Atlanta caught up with Fishman to talk about her writing and her new book. The Fun Widow's Book Tour lives at the intersection of art and grief. Can you share about writing grief onto the page? Writing has always been my most personal outlet. I started journaling in third grade, and that always became the place where I was able to comfort myself, where I could express myself much more eloquently than in person. So when Ronen died, I started writing him letters, about what was happening with the dudes, and what was happening with me, and how much I missed him. I think anyone who's grieving knows that as time unfolds, your grief changes. But at least for me, a lot of my memories started to fade, too. Writing this book helped me reconnect with some of the memories of that specific relationship. […]

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