Grace Notes

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Grace Notes

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After the release of his first novel (Mink River) last year, Doyle, editor of the award-winning Portland Magazine at the University of Portland in Oregon, returns to the finely honed nature writing and memoir that three times earned him inclusion in anthologies of the Best American Spiritual Writing. This new montage of 37 short essays is like surf casting with a well-weighted jig into the cold, wild Pacific—you never quite know how deep you will go. In “The Genius of American Catholicism,” he inquires, “Isn’t belief that hope defeats despair a wild leap like the ones we take when we commit to marriage, to a vocation, to a tumultuous democracy?” With a fresh, relaxed, often humorous tone, Doyle provides an alluring mix of Annie Dillard’s eye for mystery, Mary Oliver’s contemplative paeans, and Kathleen Norris’s unerring liturgical compass. But he doesn’t shy away from harsh subjects: pornography, getting shot, and September 11. With two Pushcart prizes and a national award in literature, Doyle brings a steady hand to his craft. Even more delightful is the playful generosity he offers readers and his revival of a smart, invigorating American Catholic voice. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879464349
  • Publisher: ACTA Publications
  • Publication date: 10/28/2011
  • Pages: 150
  • Sales rank: 274,050
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011


    Grace Notes, by Brian Doyle, is one of the most unique pieces of non-fiction I have ever read. I am usually not a fan of this genre, as I tend to read more fictional works. However, my attitude towards personal essays, and non-fiction in general, has completely changed. Because of this book, I find that I have a much greater interest on how other¿s view the world. Grace Notes is a compilation of life as seen through Brian Doyle¿s eyes. The topics he discusses range from the most everyday things, such as dragonflies and laundry, to far more serious subjects, such as the events of 9-11. I am amazed by how skillfully he switches from light-hearted, comical subjects to ones that are deep and emotionally charged. His style of writing is quite unlike anything I have ever experienced. I can honestly say that he writes with some of the longest sentences I have ever seen- his thoughts being separated only by the occasional comma. It took a while for me to get used to this, but I soon came to appreciate this style as I felt like I was having a real conversation with the author. These essays were a joy to read in and of themselves, but there was an even greater measure of intrigue for me as most of them deal with religious topics. I have always loved works that weave the spiritual in with the secular and Doyle is a master at this. Ultimately, this book is both very thought provoking as well as entertaining. I am confident that all who take the time to explore this piece of work will come away with a greater outlook on love and on life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

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