The United States seems to be on the brink of catastrophe. From the abandoned cars littering the highways (no one remembers how to fix them) to the endless hours spent on the golf course (now open twenty-four hours for those who can’t bother to wait until daylight to putt) to the starkly polarized political and religious factions dividing the country (which are increasingly difficult to tell apart), it is startlingly evident that the great experiment of the American Dream has failed.
The only problem is that no one has noticed. No one, that is, except Dr. Thomas More.
Dr. More, an alcoholic, womanizing, lapsed-Catholic psychiatrist, has invented the lapsometer: a machine capable of diagnosing and curing the spiritual afflictions that are speeding society toward its inevitable collapse. If used correctly, the lapsometer could make anxiety, depression, alienation, and racism things of the past. But, in the wrong hands, it could propel the nation even more quickly into chaos.
Hailed as “vividly entertaining” by the Los Angeles Times and “profoundly moving” by the Milwaukee Journal, Love in the Ruins is a towering, mind-bending work of satirical speculative fiction by the National Book Award–winning author of The Moviegoer.
In The Last Gentleman, Will Barrett has never felt at peace. After moving from his native South to New York City, Will’s most meaningful human connections come through the lens of a telescope in Central Park, from which he views the comings and goings of the eccentric Vaught family. But Will’s days as a spectator end when he meets the Vaught patriarch and accepts a job in the Mississippi Delta as caretaker for the family’s ailing son, Jamie. Once there, he is confronted not only by his personal demons, but also his growing love for Jamie’s sister, Kitty, and a deepening relationship with the Vaught family that will teach him the true meaning of home.
And in The Second Coming, now in his late forties, Will Barrett lives a life other men only dream of. Wealthy from a successful career on Wall Street and from the inheritance of his deceased wife’s estate, Will is universally admired at the club where he spends his days golfing in the North Carolina sun. But everything begins to unravel when, without warning, Will’s golf shots begin landing in the rough, and he is struck with bouts of losing his balance and falling over. Just when Will appears doomed to share the fate of his father—whose suicide has haunted him his whole life—a mental hospital escapee named Allison might prove to be the only one who can save him.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Moviegoer, these novels have been acclaimed by Time magazine for “irony, understatement, and compassion” and praised by the New York Times as “wonderfully good reading.”
* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award * Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize * Winner of the PEN Open Book Award *
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, NPR. Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Slate, Time Out New York, Vulture, Refinery 29, and many more . . .
A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.
Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.
Stories include: writer Malcolm Gladwell's wedding toast gone horribly awry; legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels' obsession with a Sarah McLachlan song; poker champion Annie Duke's two-million-dollar hand; and A. E. Hotchner's death-defying stint in a bullring . . . with his friend Ernest Hemingway. Read about the panic of former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart when he misses Air Force One after a hard night of drinking in Moscow, and Dr. George Lombardi's fight to save Mother Teresa's life.
This will be a beloved read for existing Moth enthusiasts, fans of the featured storytellers, and all who savor well-told, hilarious, and heartbreaking stories.
Publication of The Souls of Black Folk was a dramatic event that helped to polarize black leaders into two groups: the more conservative followers of Washington and the more radical supporters of aggressive protest. Its influence cannot be overstated. It is essential reading for everyone interested in African-American history and the struggle for civil rights in America.
Selected by five hundred writers, English professors, and creative writing teachers from across the country, this collection includes only the most highly regarded nonfiction work published since 1970.
Contributers include: Jo Ann Beard, Wendell Berry, Eula Biss, Mary Clearman Blew, Charles Bowden, Janet Burroway, Kelly Grey Carlisle, Anne Carson, Bernard Cooper, Michael W. Cox, Annie Dillard, Mark Doty, Brian Doyle, Tony Earley, Anthony Farrington, Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, Diane Glancy, Lucy Grealy, William Harrison, Robin Hemley, Adam Hochschild, Jamaica Kincaid, Barbara Kingsolver , Ted Kooser, Sara Levine, E.J. Levy, Phillip Lopate, Barry Lopez, Thomas Lynch, Lee Martin, Rebecca McCLanahan, Erin McGraw, John McPhee, Brenda Miller, Dinty W. Moore, Kathleen Norris, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lia Purpura, Richard Rhodes, Bill Roorbach, David Sedaris, Richard Selzer, Sue William Silverman, Floyd Skloot, Lauren Slater, Cheryl Strayed, Amy Tan, Ryan Van Meter, David Foster Wallace, and Joy Williams.
In We Learn Nothing, satirical cartoonist Tim Kreider turns his funny, brutally honest eye to the dark truths of the human condition, asking big questions about human-sized problems: What if you survive a brush with death and it doesn’t change you? Why do we fall in love with people we don’t even like? How do you react when someone you’ve known for years unexpectedly changes genders?
With a perfect combination of humor and pathos, these essays, peppered with Kreider’s signature cartoons, leave us with newfound wisdom and a unique prism through which to examine our own chaotic journeys through life. These are the conversations you have only with best friends or total strangers, late at night over drinks, near closing time.
This edition also includes the sensationally popular essay “The Busy Trap,” as seen in the New York Times.
"A short list of the greatest living conversationalists in English," said The Economist, "would probably have to include Christopher Hitchens, Sir Patrick Leigh-Fermor, and Sir Tom Stoppard. Great brilliance, fantastic powers of recall, and quick wit are clearly valuable in sustaining conversation at these cosmic levels. Charm may be helpful, too." Hitchens-who staunchly declines all offers of knighthood-hereby invites you to take a seat at a democratic conversation, to be engaged, and to be reasoned with. His knowledge is formidable, an encyclopedic treasure, and yet one has the feeling, reading him, of hearing a person thinking out loud, following the inexorable logic of his thought, wherever it might lead, unafraid to expose fraudulence, denounce injustice, and excoriate hypocrisy. Legions of readers, admirers and detractors alike, have learned to read Hitchens with something approaching awe at his felicity of language, the oxygen in every sentence, the enviable wit and his readiness, even eagerness, to fight a foe or mount the ramparts.
Here, he supplies fresh perceptions of such figures as varied as Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Rebecca West, George Orwell, J.G. Ballard, and Philip Larkin are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions and intrepid observations, gathered from a lifetime of traveling and reporting from such destinations as Iran, China, and Pakistan.
Hitchens's directness, elegance, lightly carried erudition, critical and psychological insight, humor, and sympathy-applied as they are here to a dazzling variety of subjects-all set a standard for the essayist that has rarely been matched in our time. What emerges from this indispensable volume is an intellectual self-portrait of a writer with an exemplary steadiness of purpose and a love affair with the delights and seductions of the English language, a man anchored in a profound and humane vision of the human longing for reason and justice.
From the best-selling author of Wild, a collection of quotes--drawn from the wide range of her writings--that capture her wisdom, courage, and outspoken humor, presented in a gift-sized package that's as irresistible to give as it is to receive.
Around the world, thousands of people have found inspiration in the words of Cheryl Strayed, who in her three prior books and in her "Dear Sugar" columns has shared the twists and trials of her remarkable life. Her honesty, spirit, and ample supply of tough love have enabled many of us, even in the darkest hours, to somehow put one foot in front of the other--and be brave enough.
This book gathers, each on a single page, more than 100 of Strayed's indelible quotes and thoughts--"mini instruction manuals for the soul" that urge us toward the incredible capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness, and endurance that is within us all.
Be brave enough to break your own heart.
You can't ride to the fair unless you get on the pony.
Acceptance is a small, quiet room.
Romantic love is not a competitive sport.
Forward is the direction of real life.
Ask yourself: What is the best I can do? And then do that.
From the Hardcover edition.
Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Rachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world.
Inside you’ll read:
• A cinematic tutorial on why the best friend (Simon) always loses out to the bad boy (Jace)
• The unexpected benefits of the incest taboo
• What we can read between the lines of Alec and Magnus’ European vacation
• The importance of friendship, art, humor, and rebellion
• And more, from the virtues of Downworlders to the naughty side of Shadowhunting
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.
As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.
Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize
A frank and fascinating exploration of race and racial identity
Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays begins with a series of lynchings and ends with a series of apologies. Eula Biss explores race in America and her response to the topic is informed by the experiences chronicled in these essays -- teaching in a Harlem school on the morning of 9/11, reporting for an African American newspaper in San Diego, watching the aftermath of Katrina from a college town in Iowa, and settling in Chicago's most diverse neighborhood.
As Biss moves across the country from New York to California to the Midwest, her essays move across time from biblical Babylon to the freedman's schools of Reconstruction to a Jim Crow mining town to post-war white flight. She brings an eclectic education to the page, drawing variously on the Eagles, Laura Ingalls Wilder, James Baldwin, Alexander Graham Bell, Joan Didion, religious pamphlets, and reality television shows.
These spare, sometimes lyric essays explore the legacy of race in America, artfully revealing in intimate detail how families, schools, and neighborhoods participate in preserving racial privilege. Faced with a disturbing past and an unsettling present, Biss still remains hopeful about the possibilities of American diversity, "not the sun-shininess of it, or the quota-making politics of it, but the real complexity of it."
Lambda Award and American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award–winning author Dorothy Allison is known for her bold and insightful writing on issues of class and sexuality. In Skin, she approaches these topics through twenty-three impassioned essays that explore her identity—from her childhood in a poor family in South Carolina to her adult life as a lesbian in the suburbs of New York—and her sexuality. In “Gun Crazy,” Allison delves into what guns meant to the men and women around her when she was growing up. She gives insight into the importance of speaking professionally about sexuality in “Talking to Straight People,” and articulates the danger women feel about revealing their personal desires, even within feminist communities, in “Public Silence, Private Terror.” Allison is fearless in her discussion of many social and political taboos. Compelling and raw, Skin is an honest and intimate work—perfect for Dorothy Allison fans and new readers alike.
This is Smith’s vivid account of the rescue efforts by the fire and police departments and emergency medical teams as they rushed to face a disaster that would claim thousands of lives. Smith takes readers inside the minds and lives of the rescuers at Ground Zero as he shares stories about these heroic individuals and the effect their loss had on their families and their companies. “It is,” says Smith, “the real and living history of the worst day in America since Pearl Harbor.” Written with drama and urgency, Report from Ground Zero honors the men and women who—in America’s darkest hours—redefined our understanding of courage.
Ronson investigates the strange things we’re willing to believe in, from lifelike robots programmed with our loved ones’ personalities to indigo children to hypersuccessful spiritual healers to the Insane Clown Posse’s juggalo fans. He looks at ordinary lives that take on extraordinary perspectives, for instance a pop singer whose life’s greatest passion is the coming alien invasion, and the scientist designated to greet those aliens when they arrive. Ronson throws himself into the stories—in a tour de force piece, he splits himself into multiple Ronsons (Happy, Paul, and Titch, among others) to get to the bottom of credit card companies’ predatory tactics and the murky, fabulously wealthy companies behind those tactics. Amateur nuclear physicists, assisted-suicide practitioners, the town of North Pole, Alaska’s Christmas-induced high school mass-murder plot: Ronson explores all these tales with a sense of higher purpose and universality, and suddenly, mid-read, they are stories not about the fringe of society or about people far removed from our own experience, but about all of us.
Incisive and hilarious, poignant and maddening, revealing and disturbing—Ronson writes about our modern world, the foibles of contemporary culture, and the chaos that lies at the edge of our daily lives.
Well, someone's got to do it: in a world which simply will not see reason, Jeremy sets off on another quest to beat a path of sense through all the silliness and idiocy.
And there's no knowign what might catch Jeremy's eye along the way. It could be:
-The merits of Stonehenge as a business model
-Why all meetings are a waste of time
-The theft of the Queen's cows
-One Norwegian man's unique approach to showing his gratitude
-Fitting a burglar alarm to a tortoise
-Or how Lou Reed was completely wrong about what makes a perfect day
Pithy and provocative, this is Clarkson at his best, taking issue with whatever nonsense gets in the way of his search for all that's worth celebrating. Why should we be forced to accept stuff that's a bit rubbish? Shouldn't things work? Why doesn't someone care? I mean, is it really too much to ask?
It's a good thing we've still got Jeremy out there, still looking, without fear or favour, for the answers.
Jeremy Clarkson becomes the hilarious voice of a nation once more in Is It Really Too Much To Ask?, Volume 5 of The World According To Clarkson, following bestselling titles The World According to Clarkson, And Another Thing, For Crying Out Loud and How Hard Can It Be?.
Praise for Clarkson:
'Brilliant... laugh-out-loud' Daily Telegraph
'Outrageously funny... will have you in stitches' Time Out
Jeremy Clarkson began his writing career on the Rotherham Advertiser. He now writes for the Sun and the Sunday Times and is the tallest person working in British television.
Join Neil Strauss, "The Mike Tyson of interviewers," (Dave Pirner, Soul Asylum), as heMakes Lady Gaga cry, tries to keep Mötley Crüe out of jail & is asked to smoke Kurt Cobain's ashes by Courtney LoveShoots guns with Ludacris, takes a ride with Neil Young & goes to church with Tom Cruise and his motherSpends the night with Trent Reznor, reads the mind of Britney Spears & finds religion with Stephen ColbertGets picked on by Led Zeppelin, threatened by the mafia & serenaded by Leonard CohenPicks up psychic clues with the CIA, diapers with Snoop Dog & prison survival tips from Rick JamesGoes drinking with Bruce Springsteen, dining with Gwen Stefani & hot tubbing with Marilyn MansonTalks glam with David Bowie, drugs with Madonna, death with Johnny Cash & sex with Chuck BerryGets molested by the Strokes, in trouble with Prince & in bed with . . . you'll find out who inside.
Enjoy many, many more awkward moments and accidental adventures with the world's number one stars in Everyone Love You When You're Dead.
Based on the National Public Radio series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty essayists—from the famous to the unknown—completing the thought that begins the book's title. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.
Featuring a well-known list of contributors—including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, and John Updike—the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk from Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells Yellow Pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on the state of Rhode Island's parole board.
The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs—and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them—reveal the American spirit at its best.
These masterpieces (along with several previously uncollected stories) are available in one volume, which presents an indelible collective portrait of an unsuspected New York and its odder citizens—as depicted by one of the great writers of this or any other time.
As much a rumination on the state of literature as a technical manual for aspiring writers, Burning Down the House has been enjoyed by readers and taught in classrooms for more than a decade. Readers are rewarded with thoughtful analysis, humorous one-liners, and plenty of brushfires that continue burning long after the book is closed.
Go deeper into the complexities of Orson Scott Card’s classic novel with science fiction and fantasy writers, YA authors, military strategists, including:
Ender prequel series coauthor Aaron Johnston on Ender and the evolution of the child hero
Burn Notice creator Matt Nix on Ender's Game as a guide to life
Hugo award–winning writer Mary Robinette Kowal on how Ender’s Game gets away with breaking all the (literary) rules
Retired US Air Force Colonel Tom Ruby on what the military could learn from Ender about leadership
Bestselling YA author Neal Shusterman on the ambivalence toward survival that lies at the heart of Ender’s story
Plus pieces by:
Mette Ivie Harrison
David Lubar and Alison S. Myers
John F. Schmitt
Eric James Stone
Also includes never-before-seen content from Orson Scott Card on the writing and evolution of the events in Ender's Game, from the design of Battle School to the mindset of the pilots who sacrificed themselves in humanity’s fight against the formics
It's an elemental, almost animalistic urge—the expectant mother's hunger for birth narratives. Bookstores are filled with month-by-month pregnancy manuals, but the shelves are virtually empty of artful, entertaining, unvarnished accounts of labor and delivery—the stories that new mothers need most.
Here is a book that transcends the limits of how-to guides and honors the act of childbirth in the twenty-first century. Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon have gathered true birth stories by women who have made self-expression their business, including Cheryl Strayed, Julia Glass, Lauren Groff, Dani Shapiro, and many other luminaries.
In Labor Day, you'll read about women determined to give birth naturally and others begging for epidurals; women who pushed for hours and women whose labors were over practically before they'd started; women giving birth to twins and to ten-pound babies. These women give birth in the hospital, at home, in bathtubs, and, yes, even in the car. Some revel in labor, some fear labor, some feel defeated by labor, some are fulfilled by it—and all are amazed by it. You will laugh, weep, squirm, perhaps groan in recognition, and undoubtedly gasp with surprise. And then you'll call every mother or mother-to-be that you know and say "You MUST read Labor Day."
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
Lan Samantha Chang
Mary Beth Keane
Marie Myung-Ok Lee
Sarah A. Strickley
Rachel Jamison Webster
Set in the steamy, stormy landscape of South Carolina, this is the unforgettable story of one woman’s courageous journey toward truth…
Born and raised on idyllic Sullivan’s Island, Susan Hayes navigated through her turbulent childhood with humor, spunk, and characteristic Southern sass. But years later, she is a conflicted woman with an unfaithful husband, a sometimes resentful teenage daughter, and a heart that aches with painful, poignant memories. And as Susan faces her uncertain future, she realizes that she must go back to her past. To the beachfront house where her sister welcomes her with open arms. To the only place she can truly call home...
Brazen, incisive, and outrageous as ever, this second volume of Thompson’s private correspondence is the highly anticipated follow-up to The Proud Highway. When that first book of letters appeared in 1997, Time pronounced it "deliriously entertaining"; Rolling Stone called it "brilliant beyond description"; and The New York Times celebrated its "wicked humor and bracing political conviction."
Spanning the years between 1968 and 1976, these never-before-published letters show Thompson building his legend: running for sheriff in Aspen, Colorado; creating the seminal road book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; twisting political reporting to new heights for Rolling Stone; and making sense of it all in the landmark Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. To read Thompson's dispatches from these years—addressed to the author's friends, enemies, editors, and creditors, and such notables as Jimmy Carter, Tom Wolfe, and Kurt Vonnegut—is to read a raw, revolutionary eyewitness account of one of the most exciting and pivotal eras in American history.
"Poets must read and study, but also they must learn to tilt and whisper, shout, or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That's the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. 'Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?' This book is my comment."--from the Foreword
With consummate craftsmanship, Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, has created a volume sure to add to her reputation as "one of our very best poets" (New York Times Book Review).
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Would you want to be one of Artemis’ Hunters?
Why do so many monsters go into retail?
Spend a little more time in Percy Jackson’s world—a place where the gods bike among us, monsters man snack bars, and each of us has the potential to become a hero.
Why Dionysus might actually be the best director Camp Half-Blood could have
How to recognize a monster when you see one
Why even if we aren’t facing manticores and minotaurs, reading myth can still help us deal with the scary things in our own lives
Plus, consult our glossary of people, places, and things from Greek myth: how Medusa got her snake hair extensions, why Chiron isn’t into partying and paintball like the rest of his centaur family, and the whole story on Percy’s mythical namesake.
One of the most beloved books in American literature, Walden is must reading for any American or anyone interested in reading great literature. But for those who go there looking for reasons Thoreau became a recluse they are sure to be disappointed. Instead, reading Walden is more of a journey to the self and how that self can live in the world. This new edition has an insightful and lyrical essay introducing the text by Sam Pickering, the inspiration for the Dead Poets Society. His essay is the most provocative piece on Walden since e. B. White.
Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.
Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story “Cold Pastoral” was published on NewYorker.com. Her essay “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times. Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.
As Marina wrote: “We can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over…We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.” The Opposite of Loneliness is an unforgettable collection of Marina’s essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to impact the world. “How do you mourn the loss of a fiery talent that was barely a tendril before it was snuffed out? Answer: Read this book. A clear-eyed observer of human nature, Keegan could take a clever idea...and make it something beautiful” (People).
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. ”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden
From modern health care to the practice of forestry, from local focus to national resolve, Berry argues, there can never be a separation between global ecosystems and human communities—the two are intricately connected, and the health and survival of one depends upon the other.
Provocative, intimate, and thoughtful, Another Turn of the Crank reaches to the heart of Berry’s concern and vision for the future, for America and for the world.
"Beautifully written and delightfully strange...as earthy as it is sublime...in the truest sense, an eye-opener." --Daily News
From Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and one of the most compelling writers of our time, comes For the Time Being, her most profound narrative to date. With her keen eye, penchant for paradox, and yearning for truth, Dillard renews our ability to discover wonder in life's smallest--and often darkest--corners.
Why do we exist? Where did we come from? How can one person matter? Dillard searches for answers in a powerful array of images: pictures of bird-headed dwarfs in the standard reference of human birth defects; ten thousand terra-cotta figures fashioned for a Chinese emperor in place of the human court that might have followed him into death; the paleontologist and theologian Teilhard de Chardin crossing the Gobi Desert; the dizzying variety of clouds. Vivid, eloquent, haunting, For the Time Being evokes no less than the terrifying grandeur of all that remains tantalizingly and troublingly beyond our understanding.
"Stimulating, humbling, original--. [Dillard] illuminate[s] the human perspective of the world, past, present and future, and the individual's relatively inconsequential but ever so unique place in it."--Rocky Mountain News