The Sweep of the Second Hand

Overview

In this thoughtful collection of narratives, author Joel Peckham explores the transformative power of emotional and physical pain from the vantage point of a husband and parent who lost his wife and a child in an accident that left him in chronic distress. Along the way, he fills a need for a brutally honest literary examination of not only grief and suffering, but also of recovery.

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Overview

In this thoughtful collection of narratives, author Joel Peckham explores the transformative power of emotional and physical pain from the vantage point of a husband and parent who lost his wife and a child in an accident that left him in chronic distress. Along the way, he fills a need for a brutally honest literary examination of not only grief and suffering, but also of recovery.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...Peckham's stories reflect honestly, and often shockingly, on [his] troubled marriage, their cultural differences, and Peckham's rejection of the outside world's expectations for his grief and recovery. Nevertheless, these essays also affirm the love that once existed, and they show a man who "has to be knocked silly" to discover the truth about himself.

...

"Don't tell me how to grieve,"[Peckham] writes back bitterly to a friend who berates him for not visiting his wife's and son's graves oceans away. He can't match what he thinks or feels with what he should think or feel. Other people's stories can only be true if he, too, can be true to them. Thus he must create a new story as truthful as possible.

In the end, death does not wipe out the alienation felt in a marriage dissolving; instead, it retains the love once shared. What remain are regrets, the "sources of real grief and real pain," but with them comes, first dimly, then ever more clearly, the acceptance of a life that is able to let go, piece by piece, what once was..."

- Heidemarie Weidner, Editor, Under the Sun

From the Publisher

"...Peckham's stories reflect honestly, and often shockingly, on [his] troubled marriage, their cultural differences, and Peckham's rejection of the outside world's expectations for his grief and recovery. Nevertheless, these essays also affirm the love that once existed, and they show a man who "has to be knocked silly" to discover the truth about himself.

...

"Don't tell me how to grieve,"[Peckham] writes back bitterly to a friend who berates him for not visiting his wife's and son's graves oceans away. He can't match what he thinks or feels with what he should think or feel. Other people's stories can only be true if he, too, can be true to them. Thus he must create a new story as truthful as possible.

In the end, death does not wipe out the alienation felt in a marriage dissolving; instead, it retains the love once shared. What remain are regrets, the "sources of real grief and real pain," but with them comes, first dimly, then ever more clearly, the acceptance of a life that is able to let go, piece by piece, what once was..."

- Heidemarie Weidner, Editor, Under the Sun

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897336253
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel Peckham is Assistant Professor of English, University of Cincinnati, Clermont College. He won a Fulbright Teaching Scholarship to the University of Jordan, 2003–2004 and was a finalist for both the New Rivers MVP Prize and the Sol Books Prize in 2011. He is the author of three books of poetry: Nightwalking, Pecan Grove Press, 2001; The Heat of What Comes, Pecan Grove Press, 2008; and Movers and Shakers, Pudding House Press, 2010. His essays on grief and recovery have appeared in a number of publications including The North American Review, Brevity, Under the Sun and River Teeth. He lives with his surviving son, Darius, and his second wife, Rachael, in Huntington, WV.

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Table of Contents

Satellites 9

Scream 37

The Neverland 41

Ruins 75

Resisting Elegy 107

Please Take What You Want 121

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