ABOUT White Hot Grief Parade

A powerful and luminous story of grief and coming-of-age and a beautiful tribute to the relationship between a father and daughter.

Publisher’s Summary:

“Alexandra “Al” Silber seems to have everything: brilliance, beauty, and talent in spades. But when her beloved father dies after a decade-long battle with cancer when she is just a teenager, it feels like the end of everything. Lost in grief, Al and her mother hardly know where to begin with the rest of their lives.

Into this grieving house burst Al’s three friends from theatre camp, determined to help out as only drama students know how―and they’re moving in for the duration. Over the course of that winter, the now five-strong household will do battle with everything Death can throw at them―meddling relatives, merciless bureaucracy, soul-sapping sadness, the endless Tupperware. They will learn (almost) everything about love and will eventually return to the world, altered in different ways by their time in a home by a river.

Told with raw passion, candor and wit, White Hot Grief Parade is an ode to the restorative power of family and friendship―and the unbreakable bond, even in death, between father and daughter.”


PRAISE for White Hot Grief Parade

White Hot Grief Parade does sing forth, and with a distinctive voice—one that’s quirky and candid and unafraid to tell the truth. [...] The book is written in fragments that concentrate on the details surrounding her father’s passing, but it juxtaposes its more piercing passages with snapshots of happier moments from Silber’s life. It is a collage-like portrait of suffering and recovery that reflects the hallucinatory horror of the events it describes through various tones and styles.
— Charles Isherwood, The Observer
Though the subject matter of the memoir is heavy, Silber’s tone is full of optimism and irreverence, effectively keeping readers engaged as they travel through their darkest thoughts. A sardonic memoir full of unexpected anxieties—and familial love.
— Kirkus Reviews
The multi-talented Silber (After Anatevka), a Broadway actress and Grammy-nominee, refers to herself in the third person, bringing a fictional quality to the work. This style, along with lists, screenplay acts, word search puzzles, haiku and cryptograms, serves wonderfully (and painfully) to amplify Silber’s emotions, as if they remain too hot to handle without expressing them through “Al.”

Silber recounts historical moments as foundation for the breadth of the loss, and one can’t help but regret not knowing Mike. Movingly, it is after his passing that Silber truly gets to know her mother, her parents’ amazing love story and all Cathy has lost. Silber’s memoir is lovingly told and teems with magic.
— Malcolm Avenue Review
A remarkable tale of resilience, recounted by Silber with a spry inventiveness and deep sense of gratitude. This powerful and poignant memoir achingly reveals the many burdens facing those who lose a loved one, from the ways memories crop up unexpectedly to the small victories of learning to live again, offering hope for renewal.
— Booklist
Gifted storyteller, brilliant thinker, accomplished actor: Alexandra Silber is a consummate artist with a luminous voice on stage and page. A veteran of Broadway and the West End, Silber boasts an impressive resume that has enabled her to get to know a host of dynamic, singular characters. But Silber hasn’t been contented with just acting out other people’s stories―she has chosen to write her own stories, too. From Broadway to bookstores, Silber is at home wherever she gets to tell a good story.
— Pop Culturalist
White Hot Grief Parade is one of those extraordinarily rare, super special books that I immediately put into a safe, sacred space because I know I will return to it again and again: when I need a story of resilience, when I need to laugh, when I need to lose myself in a brilliant story, when I need to feel creatively inspired by a delightfully inventive writer, when I need emotional catharsis. Silber’s prose is so vivid you feel like you’re watching a movie, and so personal you feel like she’s sitting the bar next to you late at night, indulging every one of your “So then what happened?” prompts. It is a gift to spend time in her authentic, gentle, witty company while devouring this gorgeously raw book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who craves bold truth-telling from one of the clearest and most captivating voices I’ve ever read.
— Mari Andrew, author of "Am I There Yet?"
White Hot Grief Parade is as beautiful and honest look at the experience of losing a parent at one of the most influential years in a young person’s life. It’s both heart-warming and heart-wrenching—and often funny—as well as all of the other things that come with the chaotic moments that surround the death of someone you love. Having lost my mother at a similar age, I wish I had Ms. Silber’s inspiring story and words to let me know that I was not alone.
— Andrew Briedis, author of '#Blessed' and @AnnoyingActorFriend
There is a sacredness in honesty.

—That mantra permeates Silber’s witty and wise book about her loving (immediate) family, and the way her parents inspire her affection for musical theater.

[Silber’s] focus is on her father’s death in 2001 and what she calls “the democracy of loss.” She reflects on this concept most eloquently in a flash-forward to 2013, when Silber makes her Carnegie Hall debut singing onstage with her former idol, Kaye, who has just lost her own father.

’You know that feeling? When an artist’s music, writing, teachings, leadership or public advocacy is so vital to your individual narrative that you feel as though you not only owe them an open letter and a thank you fruit basket, but in a strange way you feel as though you actually know them, when in fact you do not. They have palpably touched your life.’

That’s how Silber recalls feeling about Kaye after they perform together. Readers may feel a similar appreciation for Silber after ‘White Hot Grief Parade.
— The Washington Post