All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews:
What books did she want? Will asked. He’d come out of the bathroom now. Nic said books from her past, the ones she remembered had changed her life in some way or had given her… that made her feel alive, I don’t know… His voice trailed off. Will said like which ones? Nic said like D.H. Lawrence, Shelley, Wordsworth… I don’t know. They’re over there.
He waved at a sloping tower of books beside the computer table. We all eyed them, briefly, then looked away. They had failed. We couldn’t look at them. We sat in the silent, yellow living room, my son and daughter on either side of their grandma, close, like sentries. They had their arms hooked through hers as if to keep her from floating upward and disappearing like a helium balloon.