Hummingbirds Between the Pages

Hummingbirds Between the Pages

by Chris Arthur

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Overview

In his latest collection, Hummingbirds Between the Pages, prizewinning Irish essayist Chris Arthur muses on subjects ranging from Charles Darwin’s killing of a South American fox to the carnal music sounding in a statue of the Buddha, from how Egyptian seashells contain echoes of World War II to a child’s first encounter with death. Whether he’s looking at skipping stones, old photographs, butterflies, the resonance of a remembered phrase, or being questioned at an army checkpoint during Northern Ireland’s Troubles, what gives these unorthodox meditations their appeal is the way in which—with striking lyricism—they tap into unexpected seams of meaning and mystery in our everyday terrain. Arthur explores the moments that have left him spellbound, tying his own experiences as a young boy from Ulster who saw his first hummingbirds in London to the wonder felt by early settlers to America who sent pressed hummingbirds across the ocean to the communities they had left behind. Through rumination on the seemingly quotidian, Arthur’s lyrical prose exposes new layers of possibility just beneath the surface of the expected.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814254844
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
Publication date: 07/24/2018
Series: 21st Century Essays Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Chris Arthur is an Irish writer whose seven previous essay collections include Reading LifeOn the Shoreline of Knowledge, and Words of the Grey Wind.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Darwin's Fox 1

How Many Words Do You Need to Describe a Woodpigeon? 13

The Walking Buddha Beckons 24

Sleepers 34

How's the Enemy? 46

Glass 59

(Un)sentimental Timekeeping 65

Before I Knocked 75

Butterfly Smoke Signals 94

Watchwords 110

Death and the Maiden 130

Crux 144

Shells 163

The Archaeology of Days 176

Putting Two and Two Together 192

Skimming 211

Hitting the Right Note 224

Afterword: Thirty-Six Ways of Looking at an Essay 237

Acknowledgments 243

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