Life and Other Love Songs
By: Anissa Gray
Publication Date: 04/11/2023
My Rating: TBR
A father’s sudden disappearance exposes the private fears, dreams, longings, and joys of a Black American family in the late decades of the twentieth century, in this page-turning and intimate new novel from the author of The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls.
It’s a warm, bright October afternoon, and Ozro Armstead walks out into the brilliant sunshine on his thirty-seventh birthday. At home, his wife Deborah and daughter Trinity prepare a surprise celebration; down the street, his brother waves as Oz heads back to his office after having lunch together.
But he won’t make it to the party or even to his briefcase back at his desk. He's about to disappear.
In the days, months, and years to follow, Deborah and Trinity look backward and forward as they piece together the life of the man they love, but whom they come to realize they might never have truly known.
In a gripping narrative that moves from the Great Migration to 1970s Detroit and 1990s New York, we follow the hopes, triumphs, losses, and secrets that build up and tear apart an American family.
“Life and Other Love Songs builds beautifully—we care about these characters while coming to understand that the ground beneath their feet is constructed of secrets. Anissa Gray’s novel feels musical in structure—the octaves rise when the music calls for it; truths are revealed by the invisible beats of this gorgeous, rich story.”
—Ann Napolitano, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward
“Cleverly structured and emotionally precise, Love and Other Love Songs is a powerhouse ballad about a family whose histories—shared and individual—will pierce straight to the heart. With empathy and insight, Anissa Gray writes an expertly crafted family drama perfect for fans of Celeste Ng.”
—Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author The Last Romantics
“Life and Other Love Songs is a harsh, sometimes haunting, astonishingly moving, exceptionally complex novel about family and music and hurt and fear and pride and love and loss. Anissa Gray tells this story with such grace, insight and precision that readers will think of these characters long after they close the book. This is what writing should be.”
—LaToya Watkins, author of Perish
About the Author
Anissa Gray is a senior editor at CNN Worldwide and a contributor to Emmy and duPont-Columbia award–winning coverage of some of the most consequential stories of our time. She began her career at Reuters as a reporter, based in New York, covering business news and international finance. Born in St. Joseph, Michigan, Gray studied English and American literature at New York University. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her wife. WEBSITE