Death silences not only those it takes, but those it leaves behind: All too typically we can neither express our grief nor express sympathy for the bereaved. In this sensitive collection, loss finds a voice -- or several voices -- in the poetry, fiction, letters, and diaries of the world's great writers. Here are James Agee, recording the shock of his father's death; William Shakespeare, making poetry of Cleopatra's grief; the Biblical wisdom of The Book of Lamentations; the psychological acuity of Marcel Proust. Here are mourners from classical Rome to eleventh-century China, from the Paiute Indians to present-day Ireland. Arranged in sections that correspond to the stages of mourning, In the Midst of Winter is a collection whose breadth and resonance make it invaluable and utterly unique.