An enduring account of love and loss from one of the great writers of our time
“An extraordinary gift of a book, a tender, searching meditation on love and loss and what it means to be human. I wept at it, laughed with it, was entirely fascinated by it. I emerged feeling a little as if the world around me had been made anew.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk and Vesper Flights
Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery—from the maddening disappearance of everyday objects to the sweeping devastations of war, pandemic, and natural disaster; from finding new planets to falling in love.
Three very different American families form the heart of Lost & Found: the one that made Schulz’s father, a charming, brilliant, absentminded Jewish refugee; the one that made her partner, an equally brilliant farmer’s daughter and devout Christian; and the one she herself makes through marriage. But Schulz is also attentive to other, more universal kinds of conjunction: how private happiness can coexist with global catastrophe, how we get irritated with those we adore, how love and loss are themselves unavoidably inseparable. The resulting book is part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that is simultaneously full of wonder and joy and wretchedness and suffering—a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.
A staff writer at The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Kathryn Schulz writes with curiosity, tenderness, erudition, and wit about our finite yet infinitely complicated lives. Crafted with the emotional clarity of C. S. Lewis and the intellectual force of Susan Sontag, Lost & Found is an uncommon book about common experiences.
About the Author
Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Being Wrong. She won a National Magazine Award and a Pulitzer Prize for “The Really Big One,” her article about seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest. Lost & Found grew out of “Losing Streak,” a New Yorker story that was anthologized in The Best American Essays. Her work has also appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Food Writing. A native of Ohio, she lives with her family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
“Kathryn Schulz’s Lost and Found is a deeply moving, richly illuminating exploration of loss and bliss, an examination of how grief and joy are connected not just by simultaneity but in their very fabric: grief as a measure of joy, joy as a foreshadowing of grief. This book is a deeply personal account of losing a father and finding a wife, but its curiosity is thrillingly omnivorous—it explores everything from meteorites and alphabets to mythic valleys of lost objects. Schulz’s voice is somehow wry, tender, rigorous, awestruck, and lucid all at once. She’s never anything but the very best company, speaking nuanced truths from and about the deepest reaches of the heart.”—Leslie Jamison, author of Make It Scream, Make It Burn