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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262

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Customer Comments

J Priddy has commented on (5) products.

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (Vintage International) by Kazuo Ishiguro
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (Vintage International)

J Priddy, August 7, 2012

NOCTURNES: FIVE STORIES OF MUSIC AND NIGHTFALL by Kazuo Ishiguro (2009) reflects a distinct life view that I recognize from Ishiguro’s earlier novel, Remains of the Day. I loved that novel, the sad dignity of a man who struggles to avoid understanding that his life has been a waste. These stories have much of the same perspective, men who struggle to find the music that’s been lost from their lives. At least one story is terrifically funny. These are strong, substantial, affecting stories.
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Lessons from the Borderlands by Bette Lynch Husted
Lessons from the Borderlands

J Priddy, August 5, 2012

LESSONS FROM THE BORDERLAND by Bette Lynch Husted (2012) is a new collection of essays by a woman who, as did my family, rose through the effort of generations to gain an education and to speak her mind on the page. Hers is a lyric voice, a gentle, steady, compassionate voice, but one informed by struggles through poverty and hard physical work. Raised in rural Idaho, Husted honors the pragmatism and dreams of both bread and roses, She shows no sign of slowing her fight for working people, for class justice, for education as a means of empowerment and enlightenment beyond simple employment. “The doubled fists of guns and money were in control just now, but words had not lost their power. I had traded teaching stories for writing them, that’s all, I told myself stories about inclusion and exclusion, the human face in every mirror” (167). She explores what some take for granted and others carry forever on their back the limits of poverty and how it affects all aspects of living. So many times I found myself talking to this book as I read, “Oh yes!”
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The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
The God of Animals

J Priddy, August 4, 2012

THE GOD OF ANIMALS by Aryn Kyle (Scribner, 2007) was lent to me by a co-worker. I brought it home for the summer and came across it just the other day, not expecting to love it, to carry it around with me for two days, to laugh and cry and to lose myself in the story of “dreams that never come true” and the terrible truth of what does. Alice Winston is twelve, living on a horse ranch in Colorado, and trying to understand everything. The book begins: “Six months before Polly Cain drowned in the canal, my sister, Nona, ran off and married a cowboy.” Alice is not the show rider her sister was, her mother lies alone in bed all day, and she’s not popular at school, and Polly Cain was never her friend, but by the end of this debut novel, competitive riding, her sister, her ghost of a mother and the ghost of Polly Cain will turn her life along a path she never saw coming.
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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

J Priddy, August 4, 2012

“Ten Angry Boys” had me in tears, and I wanted so badly to hug Strayed that it hurt. She obviously responded to only a fraction of the letters she received, but what she’s chosen resonates with my experience as if she were my older and smarter, more experienced and wiser sister. I cried over and over, recognizing myself in the letters written and sometimes even in Strayed’s responses. There is more sensible advice here than I’ve ever found in one place about how to get from age 20 to 40 with your integrity and heart both in good working order. Her personal stories knocked me over, but this isn’t “you think you have pain, let me tell you,” this is genuine truth and love and compassion which pretty much puts every advice column I've ever read out the back door, takes over the house and installs a band in the parlor to celebrate the action. If I were a doctor I’d prescribe this for your health, to be reapplied generously every time you are confused, jealous, desperate, or think you don’t know what you’re doing. Because, sweet pea, you do know.
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Embassytown by China Mieville
Embassytown

J Priddy, January 8, 2012

This book astonished me. It is my favorite read in a long while. It's SF at its best: a woman POV character, a fully realized reality, events and ideas that lap over into real life. How could I resist "Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned after years of deepspace adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language." How could I resist high adventure with Language and language thrown in? I cannot. A metaphor about metaphor. It's marvelous and I couldn't put it down!
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