Memoir of a year in the author's own existential book club as she grapples with huge familial lossAnne Gisleson's adult life was gouged with crises, from the suicide of two twin sisters within two years, to the devastating wake of Hurricane Katrina, when her friend Chris proposed a philosophical exploration. Bound by the limits of adulthood responsibilities and time, Anne agreed on the condition of it being a group social venture. With no shortage of friends in need of some existential guidance and reassurance, Anne and Chris launched the Existential Crisis Reading Group. From Epicurus to Cheever to Tolstoy to Lispector, each chapter in The Futilitarians represents the text chosen for the month in a year of discussion. When Anne's dad dies within weeks of the group's first meeting, the gatherings take on an added importance, and Anne credits the monthly meeting for shaping the way she experiences her father's death, and all the issues that spiraled out of it: identity, mortality, parenting, growing up and living in New Orleans, a "walled city" of its own, and especially her finally grappling with the deaths of her sisters. The Futilitarians is a memoir by a woman deeply committed to exploring questions of human existence, not alone, but with her adult friends. It is a guide to living curiously and fully, and ultimately asks us "How do we keep moving forward amid all this loss and threat?" Anne tells us: "One answer is, we do it together.