Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi is a writer. His most recent book, Loss, draws on a string of devastating personal losses – of his mother, of his father and of a beloved pet – to craft a moving and intimate memoir of death and grief.
Siddarth joins Good Grief to speak with Dr Lesel Dawson, lecturer at the University of Bristol, about the key themes that permeate his work. He discusses how new griefs can reawaken the pain of old griefs, and how creativity can allow people to express and think about loss, saying ‘Grief is not a record of what has been lost but of who has been loved.’
He considers how death can change the way that we see ourselves, and how it can change our relationship to our parents, to the extent that we start to think about their lives in different ways.
‘The honesty, wisdom and pain of this writing add up to something very important: truth. Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi writes with unflinching truth about the unbearable, and thus makes it, at least, comprehensible.’
– Salman Rushdie
Dr Lesel Dawson is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol, specialising in grief, Renaissance literature and the history of the emotions. She’s leading a research project on Creative Grieving and writing a book that explores how art and the imagination can enable the bereaved to express and process their loss.