Manual A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write (The Art of the Essay Series)

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A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write. Other editions. Enlarge .. It is the first book published in Bellevue's The Art of Essay series. A must-read for.
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Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 20, Iva rated it it was amazing. Melissa Pritchard is a marvel.

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She is a writer of award-winning short stories and novels. This collection of personal essays is a pleasure. Actually not all are personal. The topics have no unified theme--from her dachshund, with background on its origin and what about those short legs, to her close connection with William, a former Sudanese slave, the saddest story ever. The art of writing is a constant theme as she teaches writing at Arizona State.

An exploration of many diverse topics.

A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write

Mar 03, Genevieve rated it really liked it Shelves: librarything-early-reviewer , first-reads-arc , memoir-essays-narrative , reviewed , reviewed-nonfiction. Because it was impossible to see the elephant, those who wanted to know something about this exotic beast had to feel it with their hands. This animal resembles a pillar. Different points of view produce different opinions. If someone had brought in a candle, they would have all felt like fools.

Pritchard is exhorting us to think grand but stay grounded. Some essayists have that writerly lyrical power that wow you with the sheer force of their writing; others have a strong narrative bent, a knack for drawing you in with their storytelling; others have that journalistic smarts and can weave in the personal with contemporary and historical analysis, drawing from current events and footnotes; others still can be profound just by their navel-gazing self-examination, revealing themselves in ways that reveal the world.

But in some way, this made A Solemn Pleasure so delightfully readable. At the same time, there are no standout essays here, no one single piece that truly bowled me over. Overall, pretty solid as a whole. This review was originally written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I found this author and book because of an essay she wrote about Walt Whitman, and the transcendent purpose of writing, which is to witness how our ordinary reality is suffused with spirit.

An amazing writer I had never read! If you write or want to, read this book. Aug 03, Kara Clevinger rated it liked it. Rather than adding anything new to that vision, she simply recycles it. On the one hand, this version of the writer is incredibly inspiring—awaken to the world, speak the Truth, etc. In such a Romantic view, the poet-Genius is above the world and everyone.

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The essays are autobiographical, a number dealing with the death of her mother, and many taking place in some amazing writing retreat or other: London, Scotland, Africa. There were definitely inspirational gems and moving stories from this collection. She has tear-jerker essays on a female soldier in Afghanistan and a child slave from Sudan, and she has a hilarious essay on the quirky habits of her dachshund.

It was cool reading this book after Emily St.

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Maybe writers are a haunted people, weighed down by the ghosts of our past, by the unresolved cares of the world around us. We write not to expel the ghosts but to give them a voice, come to terms with them, live with them. The writer who can see into the shadow worlds, tell the stories of ghosts, is the writer who speaks the Truth. Apr 26, Anne rated it it was amazing.

A Solemn Pleasure is a fantastic book of essays. From a brief stay in London, to the death of the author's mother, and the story of a child slave, each one makes you think. I laughed, was frankly envious of one, and cried at several others. My favorite essay might be Doxology, about the author's Dachshund; though A Room in London is a close second. One thing I loved about this book is that the writing is up close; personal. I felt less like I was reading a book of essays, and more like I was havi A Solemn Pleasure is a fantastic book of essays.

I felt less like I was reading a book of essays, and more like I was having a series of long conversations with a friend. Anyone who enjoys reading essays will love this book. Oct 19, Suzi Baum rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-by-other-mothers , get-out-your-highlighter.

This book gives me immense hope for writers and for my writing. Pritchard's words are a challenge and a dare to be brave and honest, eloquent and excellent. I highly recommend this book to people who write or love essays about real life lived daringly. And this book is hilarious at certain points. And poignant. Aug 15, Kathleen rated it liked it. Melissa Pritchard is an accomplished writer who will dazzle you with these essays. She's all over the map in their scope from dachshunds to death, her knowledge goes deep.

Feb 06, Vicki Gundrum rated it it was amazing. This is a book for writers. It is beautiful and wise.

It is the first book published in Bellevue's The Art of Essay series. A must-read for writers and for all who love weiner dogs. Mar 10, World Literature Today added it Shelves: reviewed. The literature of testimony, according to the author, should be the writing about pain and the healing of that pain, because the profession of writing is 'a profound vocation of healing. Sep 02, Kelly Lynn Thomas rated it liked it Shelves: writing. I absolutely loved some of these essays, and couldn't stand others.

It's not that they were poorly written, it's just that I didn't care about the subject matter like the one about the dog--I love dogs but I just didn't care. The clock's hands stood at four, and supper was not till six, and there was nothing left remarkable beneath the visiting moon. At last six o'clock did come, and the Tramp Major and his assistant arrived with supper.