Synopses & Reviews
"The body knows a language the mind never wholly masters." In this remarkable debut collectionessentially a memoir in essay formBrenda Miller creates an autobiography that locates her body as its central reference point. Single and unable to bear children of her own, Miller details a life in relationship to the extended human family, a journey that traverses realms physical, emotional, and spiritual. From her training in massage and reflexology, to her volunteer work in a hospital's infant ward, Miller remains a constant seeker and humble teacher. Raised in a suburban Jewish household in the sixties, Miller grows up to find herself sitting in meditation for hours at a time, both bemused and intrigued by Buddhist precepts. Or she engages in her own ironic brand of mindfulness while caring for two little girls or attending the birth of her godson. She brings us to Portugal, Syria, Israel, and the deserts of southern Utah, but these are no mere travelogues: they become, instead, maps by which to navigate the intricate maze of our lives. These personal essays vary from the lyric to the narrative to the humorous, but always we warm to Miller's authentic voice as she explores personal joys and heartbreaks within a larger domain. Organically shaped, never forced, these award-winning essays arrive with the pleasant snap of physical detail and leave with unforgettable insights on birth, prayer, and human resilience. Nurturing, yet uncommonly honest, Season of the Body articulates the unspoken losses, the desires held deep in the mute chambers of the heart.
"These sensuous, memorable essays are an inquiry into what it is to be a body in a world of bodies, an alert, receptive, physical woman moving through interlocking realms of culture, geography, and spirit. [It's not just the animal body I want,' Brenda Miller writes, [the mathematics of sex, the coupling: I want another heart, an extra one, a contrabassoon to echo my everyday pulse.' And these essays are, in a way, just that: the inner life captured in language, a pulse captured on the page," says Mark Doty.
"The resulting essays are memorable for their sensuality and unflinching honesty." Library Journal
"Brenda Miller is a poetic, near flawless, classical prose writer." Ara Taylor, The Bellingham Herald
"Exquisite, delicate, wry noticing. . .." The Missoulian
"This is an honest, compelling memoir of one woman's unique experiences, from sex to illness to having childrenor not." Utne Reader
In this remarkable debut collection -- essentially a memoir in essay form -- Brenda Miller creates an autobiography that locates her body as its central reference
point. Single and unable to bear children of her own, Miller details a life in relationship to the extended human family, a journey that traverses realms physical,
emotional, and spiritual.
A memoir in essay form, with the body as its central reference point.
About the Author
Brenda Miller, author of Season of the Body (Sarabande Books, 2002), is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Washington University. She has received two Pushcart Prizes for her work in creative nonfiction, and her essays have been published in periodicals such as The Sun, Utne Reader, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, and Seneca Review. Her work has been anthologized in The Beacon Best of 1999: Creative Writing by Women and Men of All Colors; Storming Heaven's Gate: An Anthology of Spiritual Writings by Women; and In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal. She is Editor-in-Chief of The Bellingham Review.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements/ Prologue/ Body Language/ Part 1: Needlepoint, The Names,A Dharma Name, Basha Leah, Next Year in Jerusalem/ Part II: How to Meditate, A Thousand Buddhas, Sean, Falling, Split, Artifacts, Infant Ward/ Part III: A Brief, History of Sex, Prologue to A Sad Spring, The Date, Grape Hyacinths, Time With Children, A Field Guide to the Desert, Gourd, Kimono, Season of the Body/ Part III: The Backward, Language of Prayer/ The Author