The Closer We Are to Dying

The Closer We Are to Dying is newspaper columnist Joe Fiorito’s spectacular debut as a book writer. A natural story-teller, Fiorito’s extraordinary talent is revealed in prose that is spare, tough, and tender. In this memoir of his family, he writes with a full heart, wielding language like a knife.

Fiorito’s striking talent is revealed both in his laconic prose and superlative story-telling, and in the affection and empathy of his vision. The Closer We Are to Dying is a beautiful reminder that while only the powerful are remembered in the history books, the lives of the powerless can also be the stuff of enduring myths.



“A small, quiet masterpiece.”
–The Times, (U.K.)

“Fiorito has all the right stuff. His splendid memoir about his relationship with his dying father belongs on that small shelf with Philip Roth’s Patrimony and Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.”
–Mordecai Richler

“…like a non-fiction One Hundred Years of Solitude. Fiorito proves himself a storyteller of remarkable gifts: there’s an aura of dignity and beauty over events, sometimes terrible, sometimes tender.”

“Joe Fiorito writes like a rough-hewn angel. This meditation at the bedside of his dying father blossoms into a lavish bouquet of family stories that speak volumes about the power of myth to tell us who we are.”
–Globe and Mail

“Remarkable.…In language that is clear, precise, and often searingly direct, Fiorito tells the story of the man, the family, and the city without romanticizing or damning any of them.”
–National Post

“It is [Fiorito’s] electric imagination which lights up the book, each story rendered in a nearly faultless prose. Fiorito is a disciple of what Cyril Connolly termed ‘the plain style,’ simple, stripped-down language capable of achieving an austere poetry.”
–Montreal Gazette

“…moving and funny and beautifully written.…The world needs more books by Joe Fiorito.”
–The Spectator

Joe Fiorito

Canadian Journalist and Author