Stars Need Counting

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Stars Need Counting: Essays on Suicide by Concetta Principe

Stars Need Counting meditates on questions of suicide in the mode of A. Alvarez, when he says, in A Savage God, that there are no answers to these questions, because suicide is a “closed world” – so closed that it's not our place to judge or cast shame. These essays explore the quality of what is closed about this world, bring it close enough to scrape the shame off the act, and for both those who have passed and those who survive, offer peace.

"Principe uses images, anecdotes, and lyrical references to pick away at the many unknowns encasing the hard shell of suicide, providing clarity and relief by delivering fleeting openings into its 'closed world'." – Valerie Uher for Canadian Literature

"In Stars Need Counting, Concetta Principe holds a magnifying glass up to the public positions and private contradictions of talking about suicide in contemporary life. Her blend of critical inquiry and personal examination is as intellectually rigorous as it is tender, locating the silence around notions of sacrifice, crime, mental illness, and history in this vital conversation about 21st century pain and ancient forms of audacity. This is a courageous look at how we live and how we die; stars need counting and with this book, Concetta Principe gives us many tender and tough-minded ways to look up." – Tanis MacDonald, author of Mobile

“A lyrical, unflinching exploration of love, mortality and suicide. With Stars Need Counting, Concetta Principe has shed a welcome and necessary ray of light on the mystery and heartbreak of suicide.” — Don Gillmor, author of To the River

"This book catches you unawares even as it withholds a thorough reckoning, forces you to think uncomfortably and ask painful questions whose answers, as Principe writes, are impossible." — Anna Mehler Paperny, athor of Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

"Principe's incisive empathy for her subject matter resonates throughout this book, evident in the painstaking efforts she takes to de-aestheticize and de-romanticize the subject of suicide. Though the work is about death and dying, there is something in it that feels like a true balm for the present, allowing us to consider the uncanny vagaries of both our subjective and collective humanities." — Ricky Varghese, author of Raw