Synopses & Reviews
"The voice in these prose essays is window-pane clear, but with the power of sun through a magnifying glass. . . . This book is a treasurehouse."—Maxine Kumin
Lyrical, affecting, and blended with intelligent speculation on national history and literary legacy, Distance and Directions contains tender and lucidly-detailed homages to Fred Astaire's hands, Kitchen's aging father, the color blue and familiar and dreamed-about places.
Judith Kitchen has also written Only the Distance: Essays on Time and Memory, and has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, Anhinga Prize in Poetry, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at SUNY-Brockport.
"The divide between poetry and prose blurs in this collection of personal meditations, which are connected by a heightened sense of place and space: 'Sometimes the landscape settles inside you and makes room for nothing else.' Kitchen practices a sort of literary feng shui, as the words find their own pattern and pool together in sentences of occasional beauty, but more often, a sprightly vagueness....Alternately rewarding and frustrating, Kitchen's essays are too tender to leave us completely unmoved, but too disembodied to fully engage us." Publishers Weekly
"Gliding...Kitchen captures the shimmer of consciousness, the most fascinating place of all." Booklist
"Thirty-two essays on the subjects of time and place-some somewhat discursive, others lyrical, all as brief as a sigh. Kitchen is interested in the past, particularly in how the present conveys us there. These lovely pieces flow like reveries (as, indeed, quite a few of them are) and reveal in virtually every case Kitchen's capacious heart. Like thoughts, the essays do not always end where they began and often establish surprising connections and uncover buried treasure....'Some books are better than others,' she declares. This is one of the former." Kirkus Reviews
Judith Kitchen's essays are lyrical and affecting meditations on place those places to which we go back and the bittersweet ones to which we can never return. Pushcart-prize winning writer and editor, Kitchen writes crystalline prose about the human connection to both built and natural environments. Blended with intelligent speculation on national history and literary legacy, these exquisite pieces contain tender and lucidly detailed homages to Fred Astaire's hands, Kitchen's aging father, the color blue, and familiar and dreamed-about places.
An engaging blend of personal essay and public speculation about our attachments to people and landscape.
About the Author
Judith Kitchen first book was Only the Dance: Essays on Time and Memory, from University of South Carolina Press. She is the editor of two Norton anthologies of creative nonfiction and has won a Pushcart Prize, an Anhinga Prize, and a NEA Fellowship. She is currently a Writer-in-Residence at SUNY at Brockport.