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978-1-932559-72-9 (paperback, $20.00); 978-1-932559-74-3 (PDF, $19.99) © 2006 by Parlor Press. 363 pages.
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Lyrical, witty, and elegiac, the twenty-five essays in Nearer show the imagination at work and play amid the ambiguities, consternations, and beauties of the world. They range in subject matter from confrontations with magnitude (God, death, and the physical universe) to examinations of the compact, coiled insistences to be found in the ordinary and the local—what John Updike refers to as “the small answer of a texture.” There are meditations on the appeals and the pitfalls of celebrity, the strange and complex nature of memorials, the threat of creeping fraudulence in personal and professional life, the place and possibility of faith, and the damage that settling for “whatever” can do. “Getting Known,” “My Animal Instincts,” and “In So Many Words” have been named Notable Essays in the Best American Essays series.
About the Author
In addition to Nearer, Arthur Saltzman’s previous books include the collections of essays Solve for X (2007, University of South Carolina Press) and Objects and Empathy (2001, winner of the First Series Creative Nonfiction Award), and six critical studies of literature and writers. Recognitions for his writing include the 2005 Columbia Nonfiction Award, the 2003 Victor J. Emmett Memorial Essay Award (from Midwest Quarterly), the 2002 Nebraska Review Creative Nonfiction Award, and the inaugural Ames Memorial Essay Award (from Literal Latte). His collection, Obligations of the Harp is due out from Parlor Press in early 2009. He was a Professor of English at Missouri Southern State University at the time of his death in 2008.
Standing on Fishes
The Porlock Principle
The Cast of Characters
A Few Paces from Hemingway
Don’t Breathe a Word
Excerpts from the Vertical File
The Orders of Magnitude
Waiting for Takeoff
Mistake and Identity
My Animal Instincts
Something Like a Particle, Something Like a Wave
In So Many Words
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