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Shame and Wonder : Essays (Hardcover) (David Searcy)

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For fans of John Jeremiah Sullivan, Leslie Jamison, Geoff Dyer, and W. G. Sebald, the twenty-one essays in David Searcy’s debut collection are captivating, daring—and completely unlike anything else you’ve read before. Forging connections between the sublime and the mundane, this is a work of true grace, wisdom, and joy. Expansive in scope but deeply personal in perspective, the pieces in Shame and Wonder are born of a vast and abiding curiosity, one that has led Searcy into some strange and beautiful territory, where old Uncle Scrooge comic books reveal profound truths, and the vastness of space becomes an expression of pure love. Whether ruminating on an old El Camino pickup truck, those magical prizes lurking in the cereal boxes of our youth, or a lurid online ad for “Sexy Girls Near Dallas,” Searcy brings his unique blend of affection and suspicion to the everyday wonders that surround and seduce us. In “Nameless,” he ruminates on spirituality and the fate of an unknown tightrope walker who falls to his death in Texas in the 1880s, buried as a local legend but without a given name. “The Hudson River School” weaves together Google Maps, classical art, and dental hygiene into a story that explores—with exquisite humor and grace—the seemingly impossible angles at which our lives often intersect. And in “An Enchanted Tree Near Fredericksburg,” countless lovers carve countless hearts into the gnarled trunk of an ancient oak tree, leaving their marks to be healed, lifted upward, and, finally, absorbed. Haunting, hilarious, and full of longing, Shame and Wonder announces the arrival of David Searcy as an essential and surprising new voice in American writing. Advance praise for Shame and Wonder “Strange, wonderful, and full of curiosity and nostalgia, David Searcy’s essays chip away at the world around us to lay bare the beauty and sadness at the heart of it all.”—Gay Talese “Shame and Wonder is a work of genius—a very particular kind of genius, to be sure, one that bides more comfortably with questions, potentialities, mysteries, and wonders than with the hard-and-fast answers that the information age has taught us to crave. How rare it is these days to commit oneself to uncertainty, but when it’s done as David Searcy does it—gently, insistently, ever alert to all shades of the slapstick and tragic—the inquiry itself becomes the revelation, an object lesson in what it means to be human. If you want to know things, real things, read Shame and Wonder. It will knock you flat and lift you up.”—Ben Fountain, author ofBilly Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk “David Searcy reminds us what voice means and why it’s useful. We can hear something her
Number of Pages: 228
Genre: Literary Collections
Sub-Genre: Essays
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Random House Inc
Author: David Searcy
Language: English
Street Date: January 5, 2016
TCIN: 46767177
UPC: 9780812993943
Item Number (DPCI): 247-51-7856
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