Synopses & Reviews
From a former Poet Laureate, a new collection of essays delivering a gloriously unexpected view from the vantage point of very old age Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, a career capped by a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president. Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight. In the transgressive and horrifyingly funny “No Smoking,” he looks back over his lifetime, and several of his ancestors lifetimes, of smoking unfiltered cigarettes, packs of them every day. Hall paints his past: “Decades followed each other — thirty was terrifying, forty I never noticed because I was drunk, fifty was best with a total change of life, sixty extended the bliss of fifty . . .” And, poignantly, often joyfully, he limns his present: “When I turned eighty and rubbed testosterone on my chest, my beard roared like a lion and gained four inches.” Most memorably, Hall writes about his enduring love affair with his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm and with the writing life that sustains him, every day: “Yesterday my first nap was at 9:30 a.m., but when I awoke I wrote again.”
Few books have so firmly established their place in American literature as The Education of Henry Adams. When it was first published in 1918, it became an instant bestseller and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. More than eighty years later, in an age of self-reflection and exhaustive memoirs, The Education still stands as perhaps the greatest American autobiography. The son of a diplomat, the grandson and great-grandson of two American presidents, a man of extraordinary gifts and learning in his own right, Henry Adams recounts his life from his birth in 1838 and upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, through the Civil War, the nation's industrial expansion, and its emergence as a world power. In the process, he gives us a brilliant history of a changing country as well as a thoughtful, humane, often tender exploration of himself. From the original publisher, this edition of The Education of Henry Adams, newly introduced by Donald Hall, celebrates and honors this classic work on what it means to be an American.
In his Education (1918) Henry Adams wrote a modernist classic, a brilliant and idiosyncratic blend of autobiography and history.
From a former Poet Laureate, a new collection of essays delivering a gloriously unexpected view from the vantage point of very old age
About the Author
Donald Hall is the fourteenth poet laureate of the United States and the authorof more than two dozen books of poems and prose, including White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 19462006. His work has garnered many honors, among them the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry for The One Day; the Lenore Marshall Award for The Happy Man; the Robert Frost Silver Medal from the Poetry Society of America for Old and New Poems; and the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in recognition of his lifetime accomplishments. His poetry collection Without, which was written for Jane Kenyon during and after her illness, received the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Hall continues to inhabit the New Hampshire farmhouse where he and Jane Kenyon lived together.
Table of Contents
Out the Window 1
Essays After Eighty 12
A Yeti in the District 16
One Road 28
Thank You Thank You 38
Three Beards 51
No Smoking 60
Physical Malfitness 70
Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. 79
On Rejection and Resurrection 98
Garlic with Everything 105
A House Without a Door 116