A World of Light (inbunden)
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University of Nebraska Press
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435 g
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A World of Light (inbunden)

A World of Light

Inbunden Engelska, 2005-09-01
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In his award-winning memoir "In the Shadow of Memory", Floyd Skloot told the hard story of coming to terms with a brain-ravaging virus. "A World of Light", written with the same insight, passion, and humor that distinguished the earlier volume, moves Skloot's story from the reassembly of a self after neurological calamity to the reconstruction of a shattered life. More than fifteen years after a viral attack compromised his memory and cognitive powers, Skloot now must do the vital work of recreating a cohesive life for himself even as he confronts the late stages of his mother's advancing dementia. With tenderness and candor, he finds surprising connection with her where it had long been missing, transforming the end of her life into a time of unexpected renewal.At the same time, Skloot and his wife are building a rich new life at the center of a small isolated forest on a hillside in rural Oregon, where a dwindling water supply and the bitter assaults of the weather bring an elemental perspective to his attempts to make himself once more at home in the world. By turns poignant, funny, and frightening, "A World of Light" balances the urgency to capture fragmented, fleeting memories with the necessity of living fully in the present. Floyd Skloot is the author of ten previous works, including the "Shadow of Memory" (available in a Bison Books edition), and the winner of numerous awards, including the 2004 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction and Nonfiction Finalist for the 2003 Barnes and Noble Discover Award. His work has been featured in "The Best American Essays", "The Best American Science Writing", "The Best Spiritual Writing", "The Pushcart Prize", and "The Art of the Essay".
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"Breathtaking... Skloot writes with eloquence and humor... Skloot's memoir is constructed much the way his memories now work, moving back and forth through time, zipping from one subject to the next, and all the while creating indelible portraits of Skloot's life with both his mother and his supportive wife. Buttressing the story are fascinating details about how and what we remember, why emotionally tinged memories stay more powerfully in our mind, and how Skloot's writing keeps the virus that seems hellbent on quieting him at bay. 'The thing I had to do was write about the experience, refuse the silence,' Skloot says. And here, he's done it brilliantly and with grace." Boston Globe "Skloot knows something of grace, but he has left failure far behind. He has painstakingly rebuilt his life and his art, shaping the experience of crippling illness into dazzling literature."--Mark Essig, San Francisco Chronicle "[Skloot's] new collection of essays, A World of Light, and his latest collection of poems, Approximately Paradise [Tupelo Press], center on ... betrayals of the mind. What the books reveal is transcendent understanding. His words move to a rhythm of ethereal design...While reading Skloot, one longs to read it aloud to Marcel Proust, who surely would applaud and cry with us at the ways in which language touches our souls... Skloot's music in these books moves in us with a truth that is achingly beautiful. These works are composed of the stuff of reality and un-distilled emotion."--Dan Hays, Statesman Journal "A World of Light [is] a nourishing mediation both meticulous and lyrical, a convergence familiar to anyone who has read Skloot's earlier memoir, essays and poems. He manages, through unsentimental observations captured in searingly precise language, to make his odd, precarious world glow with its 'singular strangeness'... His is a world made beautiful by its changed prospects, even while it is frighteningly uncertain in its daily realities." The Seattle Times "A powerful and poignant book that sings along because of Skloot's elegant style, irresistible humor, and unique perspective. Indeed, only someone with his unusual background could have written it. By turns smart, funny, observant, and insightful, he is the perfect guide to the world of dementia." Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses and An Alchemy of Mind "A World of Light is much more than a memoir: part history, part science, part baseball and literature and Broadway and art. But above and beyond all that, Floyd Skloot's beauty of a book reveals for us the importance, for better and worse, of life and love, and why we must remember, and remember, and remember."--Bret Lott, author of Jewel and Fathers, Sons, and Brothers "A World of Light sheds a warm bright light on so many things, a round house in the snow, the connection and disconnections our minds make, memory and the tricks it plays, but mostly on a heart's looking back to see beyond."--Beverly D'Onofrio, author of Riding in Cars with Boys and Looking for Mary IIn his earlier volumes The Night-Side and In the Shadow of Memory, award-winning writer Skloot told the engrossing story of the physical and mental devastation he suffered as the result of a brain-ravaging virus. The best of the 15 essays collected here reveal the Alice-in-Wonderland logic of his 92-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer's disease. Simultaneously humorous, frightening, and sad, the essays capture the world in which increasingly more elderly people live, where the body has outlived the mind. Skloot is both tender and kind in speaking of his mother's memories, which have become "driftwood on a sea of forgetfulness." In other essays, he returns to his previous subject and writes about living in an isolated cottage in a forest in western Oregon, where he and his wife face water and weather challenges as well problems with his own memory


Part One: We're Here Now 1: The Home 2: We're Here Now 3: Fittings 4: The Melody Lingers On Part Two: A Pick to the Heart 5: 1957 6: Billy Gardner's Ground Out 7: A World of Light 8: A Pick to the Heart 9: The Simple Wisdom Part Three: Turning Up the Gravity 10: The Seafood Festival Talent Show 11: The Song of the Exhausted Well 12: Thinking in Circles 13: Turning Up the Gravity 14: A Stable State 15: Taking Stock