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A Step from Death

A Memoir

List Price: $15.95

February 17, 2009 | Paperback | 5.3 x 8, 288 Pages | ISBN 9781582434698
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"[Woiwode] continues to deepen his penetration into what it means to be human and finite, to inhabit a body and yearn for connection beyond its physical, temporal limits, to achieve and maintain faith in something beyond that body." —New York Times 

In this deeply affecting new memoir, Larry Woiwode addresses his son as heir to his emotional interior. With beautiful language and a poet’s sensibility, Woiwode begins his story by relating a near-death experience with a malfunctioning hay baler—the kind of mistake that can kill a novice farmer. This episode launches a delicately woven series of memories, from snippets of Woiwode’s days in New York as a young writer working with the late great William Maxwell, to his days as a young father, husband, and teacher trying to scrape enough together to buy a ranch in western North Dakota, and finally to the prospect of an empty nest and the step from death that he finds rapidly approaching.

As Kirkus rightly said of Woiwode’s previous memoir, A Step from Death is also a work of “purest sense and sensitivity,” rife with scarred beauty, naked triumphs, and vivid storytelling.

LARRY WOIWODE is the poet laureate of North Dakota. His fiction has appeared in the Atlantic MonthlyEsquireHarper’sThe New Yorker, and many other publications. His first novel, What I’m Going To Do, I Think, received the William Faulkner Foundation Award; his second, Beyond the Bedroom Wall, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Praise

“Regrets, wants, self-disgust, confessions—all of that is here, in the mad, bold waters of this book… This material is powerful, muscular, raw, even thrilling.” —Chicago Tribune 

“[Woiwode] continues to deepen his penetration into what it means to be human and finite, to inhabit a body and yearn for connection beyond its physical, temporal limits, to achieve and maintain faith in something beyond that body.” —New York Times 

 

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