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Woof!: Writers on Dogsby Lee Montgomery
Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of Marley and Me, an anthology of essays about the world's oldest friendship.
In the introduction to this canine-themed anthology, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas writes that few books truly capture the essence of dogs; Woof being the rare exception. Pithy observations and heartfelt confessions from the acclaimed writers who love them lay bare the relationship of human and dog. Original personal essays include Rick Bass's poignant tale about the week his hunting dog, Point, was given a fatal prognosis. Abigail Thomas writes about the hilarious maneuvering it takes to share a bed with three dogs. 2007 National Book Award winner Denis Johnson gives voice to The Colonel, his bullmastiff, who recounts a day in his and Johnson's lives. And editor Lee Montgomery describes life with a schnauzer that masturbates with clockwork regularity.
Like the memoirs Marley and Me and Dog Years, Woof probes the sometimes tumultuous, often selfless love affair between dogs and their human companions. At times irreverent and funny, at others heartbreaking, Woof is sure to become part of the literary canon of animal writing.
"Montgomery (The Things Between Us), a memoirist and executive editor of Tin House magazine, delivers personal essays from writers — including Barry Hannah, Victoria Redel and Denis Johnson (whose essay is written from the point of view of his curiously military-minded bullmastiff, The Colonel) — that capture 'the soul essence of dogs' in a way that will touch the hearts of canine owners everywhere. From novelist Tom Grimes's description of his dog Charlie's 'zigzagging, semi-Homeric' outings to Lydia Millet's paean to her pug Bug, 'a confounding and holy monster,' each author presents a memorable dog each possessing much devotion and baffling eccentricity. Other than Millet and Yannick Murphy ('The Sea of Trees') — who presents an ode to Tom, his huge, slobbering and totally good-natured Newfoundland — almost all of the essayists prominently feature descriptions of their dogs' deaths, each of which is affecting but read together can be a profoundly sad experience for those with dogs. This fine collection works best if readers give themselves adequate time for reflection — and sometimes a good cry — between each essay." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
As the popularity of Marley and Me attests, people love their dogs?and everyone else?s too. For all the time spent on grooming, petting, and other care?it?s as if owning a dog is a religion unto itself. Woof! brings together original essays from acclaimed writers ruminating on the sometimes tumultuous, often selfless love affair between human and dog. Alternately poignant and hilarious, these collected stories of mutts and purebreds alike will win the hearts of the millions who?ve ever loved a member of the world?s most loyal species.
About the Author
Lee Montgomery is the author of The Things Between Us: A Memoir, winner of a 2007 Oregon Book Award, Searching for Emily, and Whose World Is This?, winner of the 2007 Iowa Short Fiction Award. She is currently the editorial director of Tin House Books and executive editor of Tin House magazine.
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