Carnival of losses : notes nearing ninety.

by Hall, Donald,

Format: Print Book 2018
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New essays from the vantage point of very old age, once again "alternately lyrical and laugh-out-loud funny,"* from the former poet laureate of the United States
* New York Times

Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, one capped most recently by the New York Times bestseller Essays After Eighty, a "treasure" of a book in which he "balance[s] frankness about losses with humor and gratitude" ( Washington Post ). Now nearing ninety, Hall delivers a new collection of self-knowing, fierce, and funny essays on aging, the pleasures of solitude, and the sometimes astonishing freedoms arising from both. He intersperses memories of exuberant days--as in Paris, 1951, with a French girl memorably inclined to say, "I couldn't care less"--with writing, visceral and hilarious, on what he has called the "unknown, unanticipated galaxy" of extreme old age.

"Why should a nonagenarian hold anything back?" Hall answers his own question by revealing several vivid instances of "the worst thing I ever did," and through equally uncensored tales of literary friendships spanning decades, with James Wright, Richard Wilbur, Seamus Heaney, and other luminaries.

Cementing his place alongside Roger Angell and Joan Didion as a generous and profound chronicler of loss, Hall returns to the death of his beloved wife, Jane Kenyon, in an essay as original and searing as anything he's written in his extraordinary literary lifetime.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Former U.S. poet laureate (2006-2007), Hall reflects on aging and death in this candid and often humorous memoir. Hall meanders over mundane losses in his life-the demise of mill towns, the root cellar in his New Hampshire home-as well as the death of his wife, poet Jane Kenyon, 20 years ago, and the poets he has known. In a meditative opening, Hall says about aging, "you are old when the waiter doesn't mention that you are holding the menu upside down," and notes that "in your eighties you take two naps a day. Nearing ninety you don't count the number of naps." He reminisces about various poets he's known: James Dickey was "the best liar I ever knew"; Allen Tate "always looked grumpy"; James Wright was always passionate about literature. Hall no longer writes poetry or essays, but prefers to write about his life and experiences and "tell short anecdotes.... why should the nonagenarian hold anything back?" In the longest section, "Necropoetics," Hall bares his grief during his wife's prolonged death from cancer, recognizing how much her voice still lives in his own, "spiraling together images and diphthongs of the dead who were once the living, our necropoetics of grief and love in the unforgivable absence of flesh." Hall's ruminative and detailed reflections on life make this a fantastic follow-up to his Essays After Eighty. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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Additional Information
Subjects ordreq 01/12/18 xa
Publisher 20182018
Description p. cm.
ISBN 9781328826343
Other Classic View