In A Dark Wood

In A Dark Wood

What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A story of love and grief. 'I became a widower and a father on the same day' says Joseph Luzzi. His book tells how Dante's 'The Divine Comedy' helped him to endure his grief, raise their infant daughter, and rediscover love. When you lose your whole world in a moment, where do you turn? Joseph Luzzi found the answer in Dante's opening of The Divine Comedy: 'In the middle of our life's journey, I found myself in a dark wood.' One cold November morning, Luzzi, a professor and Dante scholar, was told his pregnant wife Katherine had been in a car accident. She did not survive, but their daughter Isabel did, delivered by emergency Caesarean a mere forty-five minutes before her mother died. In one terrible instant, Luzzi found himself both a widower and a father. In the aftermath of an unthinkable tragedy, Luzzi turned to the support of his Italian immigrant family but it wasn't until he turned to Dante's epic poem - a poem he had devoted his life to studying and teaching - that he found a way to resurrect his life. Following the same structure as Dante's epic poem, Luzzi is shepherded out of his own 'dark wood,' passing through the grief-stricken Inferno, the Purgatory of healing and learning to be a father to Isabel, and ultimately stepping into the Paradise of rediscovered love. A meditation on the influence of great art and power to give us strength in our darkest moments, 'In a Dark Wood' opens the door into the mysteries of Dante's enduring classic. Beautifully written, poignant and unflinchingly honest, Luzzi's book is a hybrid of heartrending memoir and meaningful insight into one of the greatest pieces of literature in all history. Drawing us into man's descent into hell and back, it is Dante's journey, Luzzi's and our very own.
Publisher: London, William Collins,, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780008100636
Characteristics: 297 pages ; 23 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Vero_biblio Mar 15, 2019

It's true that the author talks much more about his experience than about Dante, which makes the publisher's summary not entirely honest. Still, I thought that it was interesting to read the story of a man going through something absolutely horrible. I did collect a few quotes from this book, which I kept on post-its and that I keep around me, because they are actually helping me dealing with difficult times. So all in all, for me it was worth reading.

Nov 02, 2015

I would have liked more Dante and less Joe.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at YPRL

To Top