Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz review – life-changing moments of love and death

A memoir by the Pulitzer-winning New Yorker writer offers a fresh look at the most profound experiences of our lives

“Just as every grief narrative is a reckoning with loss, every love story is a chronicle of finding,” writes Kathryn Schulz in her eloquent and tender memoir, Lost & Found. “And so, much as my father’s death made me wonder about the relationship between large losses and smaller ones, falling for someone made me think about what finding love has in common with the broader act of finding anything at all.”

This is the deceptively simple premise of this slim book: losing and finding are such seemingly unremarkable elements of everyday life that we rarely pause to think about their significance, until, of course, it comes to losing and finding people, experiences that are among the most profound of our lives and that go to the heart of what it means to be human. Living through these life-changing moments in quick succession – she met her partner shortly before her father died – means Schulz is ideally placed to consider, through the prism of her own experience, the various ways people have tried to make sense of loss and discovery. Like her late father, she possesses a “panoptic curiosity”, drawing on cultural and artistic history, poetry, psychology, philosophy and scientific theory to examine what is at once universal yet intensely personal.

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