These Are Strange Times, My Dear

Field Notes from the Republic

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Book Description

“In these pointed and wide–ranging essays, Wendy Willis explores everything from personal resistance to the rise of political podcasts, civic loneliness to the exploitation of personal data, public outrage to the opioid crisis—all with a poet’s gift for finding the sacred in the mundane, a hope in the dark.

One of the country’s sharpest observers of politics, art, and the American spirit, Willis returns often to the demanding question posed by Czech writer, activist, and politician Václav Havel: What does it mean to live in truth? Her view is honed by her place as a poet, as a mother, and, when necessary, as an activist. Together, the essays in These Are Strange Times, My Dear work within that largely unmapped place where the heartbreaks and uncertainties of one’s inner life brush up against the cruelties and responsibilities of politics and government and our daily lives.”

About the Author

Praise For This Book

Praise for These Are Strange Times, My Dear

Finalist for the 2019 Oregon Book Awards Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction“A self–described 'evangelist of the word,' lawyer and poet Willis dives deep in this collection of essays. Where else might one find mention of Thomas Jefferson and Harvey Weinstein (though not in the same essay)? . . . Indeed, in all of the essays, Willis offers a fresh perspective on many cultural tropes . . . For those who want to share a deeper experience of life, with all its loneliness and fragility, Willis is an apt companion.” —Booklist

“Offers a unique vision for life in such challenging times . . . Willis’s nuanced and interior approach to politics is a welcome departure from the harsh rhetoric so popular today. Even readers who disagree with her will appreciate her sincerity and experiences as a mother, lawyer, and author.” —Library Journal

“Her best essays combine rigor with sensory observation, ranging widely among varied interests . . . A compassionate, measured voice that serves as an antidote to strident pontificating.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[An] impassioned, wry perspective informs these essays, which sit at the intersection between the political and the personal. They’re striking for their candor and willingness to consider complexity, whether she’s pondering public protest or private sorrows.” —Amy Wang, The Oregonian