Life in a Day

Overview

In the hands of acclaimed novelist, essayist and critic Doris Grumbach, a single day becomes a rich world enlivened by memory, intellect, and imagination. With quiet eloquence, Grumbach leads the reader from a predawn meditation on the Book of Common Prayer through the next eighteen hours of one day in her seventy-seven years. As we follow her through a day's activities and exercises in procrastination, Grumbach's grace, humor and insight alert us to the transience of each day, the constant play between past and ...
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Hardcover Good. No DJ Very Good Thorndike PRess, LARGE PRINT, 1997, library discard with usual stamps, stickers, etc. looks like new and unread.

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Overview

In the hands of acclaimed novelist, essayist and critic Doris Grumbach, a single day becomes a rich world enlivened by memory, intellect, and imagination. With quiet eloquence, Grumbach leads the reader from a predawn meditation on the Book of Common Prayer through the next eighteen hours of one day in her seventy-seven years. As we follow her through a day's activities and exercises in procrastination, Grumbach's grace, humor and insight alert us to the transience of each day, the constant play between past and present, and the endless possibilities of the life of the mind.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A day spent puttering about with a 77-year-old retiree living on the coast of Maine doesn't promise high adventure. Reality turns out quite differently. Grumbach has spent her adult life in the world of books and writers as a novelist and critic; her longtime companion is a rare book dealer. Every step she takes is an intellectual adventure, evoking memories of books she has read, writers she has known. The one defining event of this quiet day is a cruel one: a stingingly negative New York Times review of her novel The Book of Knowledge comes in the mail. Unflinchingly, Grumbach faces a verdict that begins: "This is rather a nasty book...." She even includes a facsimile of the review here so the reader may share her feelings. "Rejection," she realizes "is an affliction as painful as shingles or loss of a limb." Grumbach's struggles to sit at the computer and write will be agonizingly familiar to writers, in fact to all procrastinators. She begins to transcribe some handwritten notes but is distracted into searching for a quotation in Somerset Maugham's The Summing Up"that never-bettered book of sage counsel from an accomplished writer based on his own long, successful career." The quiet pace of her day, layered with side trips into a lifetime's storehouse of words and thoughts, is seductive. Despite occasional grumblings about technology and general modern aggravations, this is a profoundly optimistic book: a validation of the strength and the tranquillity to be found within the confines of the human mind. Illustrations. (Oct.)
Booknews
A beautifully written and entertaining "day in the life" memoir from 77 year old novelist and critic Grumbach, following in Annie Dillard's footsteps by attending to the ordinary until it becomes extraordinary. The author meditates on the events of a day, an early morning trip to the local post office in Sargentville, Maine, memories of other travels to Wales, her reflections both spiritual and intellectual evoked by the landscape or a pot of oxalis, and, most importantly, the endless possibilities available to an incisive, artistic mind. Lacks a bibliography and index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
Astonishes in its honesty. . . . What greater gift can a memoir bring than a self revealed in all its grubby particulars? -Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, The Washington Post Book World

"A diary of a day that encapsulates the memories, reflections, and yearnings of a lifetime as gracefully as a Fabergé egg captures spring sunlight in its tiny interior." -Kirkus Reviews

"For Grumbach, living is an adventure on the magic carpet ride of memory, reverie, and imagination. Life in a Day affirms the ripples of meaning which can emanate out of simple rituals, happenings, and activities." -Frederic A. Brussat, Body Mind Spirit

"[Life in a Day] illuminates the way memory has woven itself into the fabric of a rich life. . . . To spend a day with [Grumbach] is rewarding." -Patricia Roth Schwartz, Lambda Book Report

"[A] wise and lovely little book." -Barbara Holliday, Detroit Free Press

"This is a profoundly optimistic book: a validation of the strength and the tranquility to be found within the confines of the human mind." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786209767
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1997
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 145
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Doris Grumbach is author of Coming into the End Zone, Extra Innings, and Fifty Days of Solitude, among other books. She has also been a contributing editor to The New Republic and The New York Times Book Review, and a book reviewer for National Public Radio. She lives in Maine.
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