Life is A Kind of Dream. So is the art we make in response to life. In A Kind of Dream, five generations of an artistic family explore the ups and downs of life, discovering that for an artist even failure is success, because the work matters more than the self.
The selves in this book include Nina, a writer, and her husband, Palmer, a historian, who, having settled into marriage and family life, are now faced with the bittersweetness of late life; BB and Roy, who make a movie in Mongolia; Tavy, Nina’s adopted daughter, a painter in her twenties who meets her birth mother for the first time; and Tavy’s young daughter, Callie, a budding violinist. Other vivid characters confront the awful fact of violence in America; try to cope with political ineptitude; and one devises his own code of sexual morality. Perhaps the most important character is Nina's dog, a salt-and-pepper cairn terrier of uncommon wisdom.
Fame, death, rash self-destruction, laughter, the excitement of making good art, love, marriage, being a mother, being a father, the appreciation of beauty, and always lifelife itself, life in all its shapes and guisesit’s all here.
A Kind of Dream is the culminating book in a trilogy Kelly Cherry began with My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers and The Society of Friends. Each book stands alone, but together they take us on a Dantean journey from midlife to Paradise. Cherry’s prose is hallmarked by lyric grace, sly wit, the energy of her intelligence, and profound compassion for and understanding of her characters. Set in Madison, Wisconsin, A Kind of Dream reveals a surprisingly wide view of the world and the authority of someone who has mastered her art. It is a book to experience and to reflect upon.
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
|Publisher:||University of Wisconsin Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Kelly Cherry has previously published twenty-one books, nine chapbooks, and two translations of classical drama, including the novels My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers, Augusta Played, We Can Still Be Friends, In the Wink of an Eye, and The Lost Traveller’s Dream. Her stories have been reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and New Stories from the South and she received the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award for best volume of short stories (The Society of Friends) published in 1999. She is a former Poet Laureate of Virginia and the Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of WisconsinMadison. She lives in rural Virginia.
Table of Contents
Prologue: On Familiar Terms
The Autobiography of My Mother(s)
On the Care and Handling of Infants and Small Children
The Only News that Matters
The Dead Brother
Faith, Hope, and Clarity
Palmer’s Method of Penmanship
Epilogue: All the Little Dogs