The First Year
by Judith Gold Stitzel

"Field Notes from Grief: The First Year is a unique collaboration of author Judith Gold Stitzel and artist Claudia Giannini, based on the private journals Judith kept during the year after her husband’s death. They had been married for forty-seven years.

“A story of love is encapsulated like a seed in a story of loss and then blooms on Judith Stitzel’s pages, accompanied by Claudia Giannini’s gorgeous images. ‘Grief requires its own syntax and vocabulary,’ Judith tells us in this chronicle of the first year after her husband’s death, and then proceeds to learn the language like a native. She rejects the clichés customarily offered to and by the bereaved, instead gleaning her own complicated, honest, and resilient art.”
- Natasha Sajé, author of Bend

“Without being overly (and therefore unbelievably) encouraging, Field Notes from Grief affirms the reader through humor, honesty and attention to the emotional contradictions of loss. Different people need different things when they are grieving. But, as much as anything else, they need evidence that they will once again want to go on.”
- Stephanie Savitch, MS, LPC

Judith Gold Stitzel is a retired professor of English and Women’s Studies at West Virginia University where she and her husband Bob started their teaching careers in 1965 and where she was the founding director of the WVU Center for Women’s Studies. She has published fiction, nonfiction and literary criticism in Colorado Quarterly; Frontiers, a Journal of Women Studies; College English; Green Mountain Review; and other journals and anthologies. She has an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College and has twice been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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