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Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boatsby Roger Rosenblatt
Synopses & Reviews
From Roger Rosenblatt, author of the bestsellers Making Toast and Unless It Moves the Human Heart, comes a moving meditation on the passages of grief, the solace of solitude, and the redemptive power of love
In Making Toast, Roger Rosenblatt shared the story of his family in the days and months after the death of his thirty-eight-year-old daughter, Amy. Now, in Kayak Morning, he offers a personal meditation on grief itself. “Everybody grieves,” he writes. From that terse, melancholy observation emerges a work of art that addresses the universal experience of loss.
On a quiet Sunday morning, two and a half years after Amy's death, Roger heads out in his kayak. He observes, “You can't always make your way in the world by moving up. Or down, for that matter. Boats move laterally on water, which levels everything. It is one of the two great levelers.” Part elegy, part quest, Kayak Morning explores Rogers years as a journalist, the comforts of literature, and the value of solitude, poignantly reminding us that grief is not apart from life but encompasses it. In recalling to us what we have lost, grief by necessity resurrects what we have had.
"As a follow-up to Making Toast, this memoir is about asking questions that cannot be answered. Where Toast chronicled the aftermath of the author's 38-year-old daughter's death, this work explores little about how she died or what happened to those she left behind, but instead focuses on why Rosenblatt cannot come to terms with his grief two and half years later. As Rosenblatt, a writer and professor of English and writing at Stony Brook University, takes up kayaking near his home in Quogue on Long Island, he begins to contemplate his connection to nature and his place in it by observing the sea. The kayak becomes a metaphorical conveyance as he floats from one topic to the next, never anchoring on one thought for long, but instead conjuring elegiac prose on everything from life versus death to personal memories and classic literature. The lyrical nature of the piece, which combines short vignettes, poetic verses, snippets of conversations and meaningful quotations, allows Rosenblatt's masterful writing skills to shine. In one instance, he describes how his two sons still stand as if their deceased sister is between them, and his words connect in a way that conveys his sadness but also affirms the goodness of life." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“There is indeed life after death, and Rosenblatt proves that without a doubt.” USA Today
From Roger Rosenblatt, the bestselling author of Making Toast and Unless It Moves the Human Heart, comes a poignant meditation on the nature of grief, the passages through it, the solace of solitude, and the healing power of love. Rosenblatt's Kayak Morning is a classic in the making, akin to A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis — a coming to terms with tragic, senseless loss that offers readers an unsentimental and deeply moving account of the possibility of true redemption. A profoundly beautiful and intimate gift from an exceptional writer, Kayak Morning is Roger Rosenblatt writing bravely and unforgettably from the heart.
About the Author
Roger Rosenblatt's essays for Time and The NewsHour on PBS have won two George Polk Awards, the Peabody, and an Emmy. He is the author of six off-Broadway plays and sixteen books, including the national bestsellers Kayak Morning, Making Toast, Unless It Moves the Human Heart, Rules for Aging, the novel Lapham Rising, and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has held the Briggs-Copeland appointment in the teaching of writing at Harvard, and is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook University.
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