Easter Everywhere: A Memoir

Easter Everywhere: A Memoir

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by Darcey Steinke
     
 

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I became riveted by Steinke's tone, a steady, lovely, hallowed, patient, things-in-themselves hum...[Easter Everywhere is] a delicately wrought little volume...This is a beautiful book. -New York Times Book ReviewSee more details below

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I became riveted by Steinke's tone, a steady, lovely, hallowed, patient, things-in-themselves hum...[Easter Everywhere is] a delicately wrought little volume...This is a beautiful book. -New York Times Book Review

Editorial Reviews

Stephen Metcalf
Darcey Steinke is also, in her own way, a skeptic about the virtues of the contemporary memoir, now a mostly secular genre in which every human unhappiness is trendily medicalized or assigned its origin in a topical childhood trauma. In her memoir, Easter Everywhere, Steinke has dared to ask, What if my abiding sense of misery isn't due to abuse or balky neurotransmission, but to the absence of God in my life, to an unfulfilled relationship with my own divinity, as vouchsafed to me by the Creator?

This may seem a peculiar starting point for a Brooklyn it-girl novelist best known for books with titles like Suicide Blonde, but my preconceptions evaporated by about Page 3, when I became riveted by Steinke's tone, a steady, lovely, hallowed, patient, things-in-themselves hum.
—The New York Times

Publishers Weekly

A scrappy kid with a violent stutter, novelist Steinke (Milk; Suicide Blonde) is the oldest child of an aloof Lutheran minister and a clinically depressed former Miss Albany. The household is steeped in the word of God; Steinke grows up brewing her own communion wine, baptizing the neighborhood cats and craving, even at age six, spiritual transcendence. It's a wish that never leaves her, and she's tireless in her pursuit of this elusive state of oneness, first seeking it in a sexually obsessive relationship with a man who turns out to be gay, and then in her doomed marriage. Her writing on these topics is blunt and powerful. When her husband confides that a teenage girl of their acquaintance has been e-mailing him, Steinke doesn't pull her punches. "Michael believed that getting close to young girls and hearing about their love life was so exciting that anyone, even his own wife, would understand the Masonic pull." When it comes to her personal relationship with God—the real meat of the book—Steinke is relatively brief, almost distant: "The idea of church still has a grip on my imagination, but I realize now that what I thought was held only inside those walls—grace and divinity—is actually located directly and authentically inside myself." Steinke is a gifted writer, and this only leaves readers wanting more. (Apr.)

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Library Journal

Steinke (Suicide Blonde), best known as a fiction author, now turns to memoir. Much of her story is made up of the usual trappings of contemporary biography: an awkward childhood, teenage rebellion, marriage, motherhood, and divorce. Yet Steinke's account is filled with the quirks of her own experience, which she recounts with startling honesty. Her father was a minister whose congregants ranged from carnival workers to mental patients, and the family moved frequently; she morphed from a stuttering child outcast into a teenage fashion model acceptable to her unhappy, ex-beauty queen mother. What really sets this book apart, however, is the underlying theme of Steinke's religious experience. She never falls into the easy trap of embracing the Right or Left of our current cultural wars. Instead, she remains solidly focused on her own idiosyncratic spiritual journey, from her identity as a child raised in the church who fell away as a teenager to the fits and starts of her return to religion as an adult, broken, longing, and hopeful. Recommended for public libraries.
—Alison M. Lewis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596919136
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,040,705
File size:
0 MB

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