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There is no shortage of books about coping with death. Joan Didion’s devastating account of the year following the demise of her husband, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” comes to mind. Meghan O’Rourke’s “The Long Goodbye,” a memoir about her then-55-year-old mother’s death on Christmas Day in 2008 from metastatic colorectal cancer, is equally profound and heart-wrenching. Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal” and Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” — each written from a medical professional’s perspective (and in Kalanithi’s case, also as the dying patient) — pushed the boundaries of our collective understanding about what it means to confront and even learn to embrace mortality.

Still, there is always room for more. Two new titles — Yiyun Li’s novel “Where Reasons End” and Han Kang’s “The White Book” — are among the most inventive and thought-provoking books I’ve read on the subject. Equally compact at less than 200 pages each, they take a good, long, hard stare at death and mourning on a micro-personal level.

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