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The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon

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The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.

 

In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeneys, an exuberant yet introspective account of a years sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and knowing; though hes unquestionably not a tourist, at the same time he knows he will never be a local. So his lyrical accounts reveal his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an awkward meeting with Nobel laureate José Saramago, being trapped in a budding soccer riot, and his daughters challenging transition to adolescence while attending a Portuguese school—but he also waxes loving about Portugals saudade-drenched music, its inventive cuisine, and its vibrant literary culture. And through his humorous, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to know Graham himself, and his wife and daughter, so that when an unexpected crisis hits his family, we cant help but ache alongside them.

 

A thoughtful, finely wrought celebration of the moment-to-moment excitement of diving deep into another culture and confronting ones secret selves, The Moon, Come to Earth is literary travel writing of a rare intimacy and immediacy.

 

“In The Moon, Come to Earth Philip Graham takes us on the best kind of journey, as he simultaneously reveals the fascinating city of Lisbon—its neighborhoods, its writers, its customs, its cuisine—and offers an intimate portrait of his beloved family. With his far-reaching intellect Graham is the ideal traveling companion, and The Moon, Come to Earth is a beautiful and surprising book.”—Margot Livesey

 

“I have long been a great fan of the delicately nuanced, keenly perceptive, beautifully articulated sensibility of Philip Graham. In his dispatches from Lisbon, The Moon, Come to Earth, he is at his exquisite best. I am very happy to follow this wonderful mind wherever in the world it wishes to go.”—Robert Olen Butler

 

“A good part of the reason I feel so passionately positive about The Moon, Come to Earth is how well Graham is able to convey his compassionate, generous, and comic spirit to the reader. Unfailingly endearing, whether hes trying to figure the number of cobblestones in Lisbon or trying to find an ATM to buy tickets for a futebol match, Graham becomes the readers traveling surrogate in the best sense. But this book is as much about parenthood as it is about Portugal, with Grahams daughter Hannah as the most constant figure in the narrative. The portrait of this father-daughter relationship is about as lovely as Ive seen.”—Robin Hemley, author of Do-Over!

 

“A beautiful Valentine to Lisbon. Philip Graham and his family take their artistic keenness to Portugal and capture its mystery and contradictions: Whether its visiting the set of a reality TV show where famous writers play hosts, or overlooking a gorgeous stone labyrinth used to trap wolves, Graham adores the offbeat even as he captures the soul of the city with good humor. Theres a taste of wine here, and giant sardines, and carnivals, and saudade, and a moon made of canvas with a light like a glowing heart. This is about a family living everyones dream of trying out a year abroad. But it might be the saga of the daughter, Hannah, and how the adventure abruptly becomes a journey into the loss of childhood, that grips the reader most deeply.”—Katherine Vaz, author of Saudade, Mariana, Fado & Other Stories, and Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories

“Part travelogue and part memoir, Philip Grahams The Moon, Come to Earth brings us the news of Portugal past and present, touching on food and sports, religion and language, music and literature and art. Grahams greatest strength is his ability to observe sharply and think clearly through the varied roles of public spectacle: the many ways in which the Portuguese tell stories of and to themselves through fireworks festivals and bullfights, medieval fairs and theater, magic shows and soccer matches and transformational public art. Given structure by his repeated return to the concept of saudade—‘a complicated feeling that combines sorrow, longing and regret, laced perhaps with a little mournful pleasure—and given buoyancy by the ebullience of his voice, The Moon, Come to Earth shows Graham at the top of his game.”—Roy Kesey

 

The Moon, Come to Earth offers manifold delights. For an uninitiated reader, its an introduction to Portuguese culture, language, literature, and history. At the same time, Graham speaks eloquently to the wider processes of discovering emotional truths through self-reflection and of revealing philosophical and political insights through a close attention to particulars. Grahams voice—with its stunning metaphors, elegant turns of phrase, and delightful wit—carries such warmth and charm that one keeps reading partly for the pleasure of his company.”—Kirin Narayan, author of My Family and Other Saints

Synopsis:

A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.

In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeneys, an exuberant yet introspective account of a years sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and knowing; though hes unquestionably not a tourist, at the same time he knows he will never be a local. So his lyrical accounts reveal his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an awkward meeting with Nobel laureate José Saramago, being trapped in a budding soccer riot, and his daughters challenging transition to adolescence while attending a Portuguese school—but he also waxes loving about Portugals saudade-drenched music, its inventive cuisine, and its vibrant literary culture. And through his humorous, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to know Graham himself, and his wife and daughter, so that when an unexpected crisis hits his family, we cant help but ache alongside them.

A thoughtful, finely wrought celebration of the moment-to-moment excitement of diving deep into another culture and confronting ones secret selves, The Moon, Come to Earth is literary travel writing of a rare intimacy and immediacy.

About the Author

Philip Graham is the author of two short story collections, The Art of the Knock and Interior Design, and a novel, How to Read an Unwritten Language. He teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

 

I Dont Know Why I Love Lisbon

So Who Says Objects Are Inanimate?

365 Days of Pork Surprise

Alchemy: From a Rube to a Local

Bread, Bread; Cheese, Cheese

Lets Throw a Festival!

Isnt There a Law against Filching Calçadas?

The Moon, Come to Earth

Those Tricky Subgestures

Nearly the Same Substance

Go, Whatchamacallits!

Chama-me Ismail

Another History Lesson

We Capture the Castle

Salvage

Light for Light  

Este espectáculo cruél

Three Churches

Particle and Wave

Fairly Medieval

Goodbye, Good Luck

Sip by Sip

On This Side of the Ocean

 

Epilogue

End Notes

Mini-dispatches

Sources of Literature Quoted

 

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226305158
Author:
Graham, Philip
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Europe - Spain & Portugal
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Lisbon (portugal)
Subject:
Lisbon (Portugal) Description and travel.
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Travel-Spain
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20091131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
168
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Basketball » General
Travel » Europe » Spain
Travel » Travel Writing » Europe
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon Used Trade Paper
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Product details 168 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226305158 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.

In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeneys, an exuberant yet introspective account of a years sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and knowing; though hes unquestionably not a tourist, at the same time he knows he will never be a local. So his lyrical accounts reveal his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an awkward meeting with Nobel laureate José Saramago, being trapped in a budding soccer riot, and his daughters challenging transition to adolescence while attending a Portuguese school—but he also waxes loving about Portugals saudade-drenched music, its inventive cuisine, and its vibrant literary culture. And through his humorous, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to know Graham himself, and his wife and daughter, so that when an unexpected crisis hits his family, we cant help but ache alongside them.

A thoughtful, finely wrought celebration of the moment-to-moment excitement of diving deep into another culture and confronting ones secret selves, The Moon, Come to Earth is literary travel writing of a rare intimacy and immediacy.

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