Tisdale’s essays have an inquisitive, untethered quality that will leave you wanting more… and more. Luckily, there’s much to devour here, with pieces on subjects as varied as the Oregon Zoo’s elephants, firefighters, abortion clinics, coed sports teams, flies, and Disneyland. Recommended By Renee P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Sallie Tisdale is the author of seven books on such varied subjects as medical technology, her pioneer ancestors, and Buddhist women teachers. Her many essays have appeared in Harper's, Conjunctions, The New Yorker, Antioch Review, The Threepenny Review
, and many other journals. This first collection of work spans 30 years and includes an introduction and brief epilogues to each essay. Tisdale's questing curiosity pursues subjects from the biology of flies to the experience of working in an abortion clinic, why it is so difficult to play sports with men, and whether it's possible for writers to tell the truth. She restlessly returns to themes of the body, the family, and how we try to explain ourselves to each other. She is unwilling to settle for easy answers, and she finds the ambiguity and wonder underneath ordinary events. The collection includes a recent essay never before published, about the mystery of how we present ourselves to each other and whether it is possible to know our own inner lives.
"Sallie Tisdale possesses one of the most companionable and inquisitive voices in contemporary American nonfiction. She is guided by a restless, humane intelligence. And her range! Who else can write about Moray eels and obscene phone calls, about the harrowing work of firefighters and the dreamy effects of laughing gas, all the while unearthing the deeper meanings of the world around us? Mortality, desire, love, loss: these are Tisdale’s underlying subjects, and in Violation, she brings them to life with bracing clarity and unfailing insight." Bernard Cooper, author of The Bill From My Father
About the Author
is the author of seven books, including Talk Dirty to Me (Doubleday, 1994) and The Best Thing I Ever Tasted
(Riverhead, 2000), a finalist for the James Beard Award for Writing. Her memoir Stepping Westward
(Henry Holt, 1992) was named one of the 100 Notable Books of the West. Her most recent book is Women of the Way
(HarperCollins, 2006). Her essays have appeared in such publications as Harpers, Antioch Review, Conjunctions, The Threepenny Review, The New Yorker, Tricycle, Creative Nonfiction
, and Esquire
. Tisdale is the 2013 recipient of the Regional Arts and Culture Council Literary Fellowship. She has received an NEA Fellowship in Belle Lettres, a Pushcart Prize, the James Phelan Literary Award, the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award, and a Pope Foundation Award, and she was a Dorothy and Arthur Shoenfeldt Distinguished Writer of the Year.
Tisdales essay Scars won the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education National Gold Medal for feature writing. Her work has been reprinted in many anthologies, including Best American Spiritual Writing, Best Buddhist Writing, and Best American Science Writing. She has been a guest writer and teacher at several institutions, including the University of California, Davis, the University of Montana, New York University, the Medill School of Journalism, Antioch University West, Reed College, and the Omega Institute. She was a judge for the National Book Award in 2010. She is a member of PEN. She lives in Portland, OR.