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Dog Years: A Memoirby Mark Doty
Synopses & Reviews
Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives? When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family. As Beau bounds back into life, the two dogs become Mark Doty's intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when all else fails.
Dog Years is a remarkable book: a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Mark Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love. A book unlike any other, Mark Doty's surprising meditation is radiantly unsentimental yet profoundly affecting. Beautifully written, Dog Years is a classic in the making.
"'Doty brings a mellow, soft-spoken dignity to the narration of his memoir, which chronicles the lives of the distinguished poet and author's beloved retrievers, Arden and Beau. The narrative thread comes together in the form of essays evoking the joy, tenderness, pain and loss in the compressed canine life spans of the two dogs. The four-legged drama takes shape amid the backdrop of Doty's human journey of grief and resiliency, particularly in regard to the loss of his longtime partner to AIDS and his subsequent glide into a new romantic relationship. Given Doty's literary pedigree, it should come as no surprise that he takes a meandering path in the autobiographic story line, pausing frequently to offer philosophical insights. The thoughtful pace and tone of Doty's audio performance brings to mind the spoken-word journals of NPR's This American Life. Audiences eager to cut to the chase for a classic inspirational dog saga may lose patience, but discerning listeners will appreciate Doty's perspective. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 12). (Apr.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Both moving and entertaining, "Dog Years" is the story of two beloved retrievers and is a pointed, perceptive meditation on life, death, and the nature of companionship. Unabridged. 9 CDs.
About the Author
Mark Doty's seven books of poetry and three books of nonfiction prose have been honored with such distinctions as the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, a Lila Wallace–Reader's Digest Writers' Award, and, in the United Kingdom, the T. S. Eliot Prize. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. He is a professor at the University of Houston and lives in New York City.
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