Darin Strauss: "Half a Life"
Flickr user Gavin Anderson
Police call them ‘dart-out’ deaths: car crashes where someone moves suddenly in front of an automobile. Insurance companies call them “no-fault fatalities.” Novelist Darin Strauss was 18 in 1988 when a bicyclist swerved across two lanes of traffic into the path of the car he was driving. It took him 20 years to write about the collision, funeral, and drama of a high-stakes court case. The police and eyewitnesses testified there was no way he could have avoided the accident. Still, he struggled with feelings of guilt and responsibility. He describes how he came to face the hard fact: we can try our human best in a crucial moment, and it might not be good enough.
author of "Chang and Eng," "The Real McCoy" and "More Than It Hurts You."