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Above Us Only Sky

Essays

List Price: $16.95

July 14, 2020 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.2, 336 pages | ISBN 9781640093089
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“These essays on a woman’s wild ride through life give us Marion’s bracing tonic-of-truth voice in splendid form–her voice that is always brilliantly funny, intelligent, brave, haunting, and full of surprises, revelations, and wise, wild connections. At this point, I don’t think I could live without it. If you don’t know her yet, your life is about to get better.” –Naomi Shihab Nye

Whether she is writing about the vagaries of family vacations on land and sea, about getting her tubes tied and the importance of a woman’s right to choose, or her battles with her rebel pyromaniac teenage son, Marion Winik is searingly honest and unfailingly witty in the face of adversity. In this collection of essays, a treat for dedicated fans and new readers alike, Winik explores domesticity, midlife, and aging.

A brand new final section brings Above Us Only Sky–originally published in 2005–up to date with essays from her award-winning column in the Baltimore Fishbowl, taking us through experiences with blended families, adult children, and empty nest.

About Marion Winik

Longtime All Things Considered commentator MARION WINIK is the author of First Comes Love, Highs in the Low Fifties, and eight other books. Her "Bohemian Rhapsody" column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com has received the Best Column and Best Humorist awards from Baltimore magazine, and her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun, and many other publications. She is the host of The Weekly Reader radio show and podcast, based at the Baltimore NPR affiliate. She reviews books for Newsday, People, and Kirkus Reviews and is a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. She is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore.

Praise

Praise for Above Us Only Sky

"NPR personality Winik mines the intertwined humor and poignancy of life's exigencies in this earthy essay collection, taking stock of moments from childhood to motherhood and reliving them with relish. By turns heartfelt and cutting, playful and contemplative, Winik's chatty narration and musings emerge as vivid brushstrokes on a crowded canvas, jottings of her thoughts at both pivotal moments and more introspective times." --Publishers Weekly

"Intrepid NPR commentator Winik's voice is as unique as her observations and as recognizable as her experiences. By turns pithy and poignant, outraged and outrageous, Winik's latest collection of essays once again mines the rich veins of her personal life . . . and while the laughs are still there, there's also a tempered maturity that nicely balances Winik's self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek approach. Middle age is upon her, a perfect time for reflection and prediction, appreciation and apprehension, making amends and making a difference." --Booklist

"Marion Winik is a skilled writer and her courage is impressive. Her struggle to find meaning from her life shines from every page and her humor is infectious." --Jennifer Lauck, author of Blackbird

"These essays on a woman's wild ride through life give us Marion's bracing tonic-of-truth voice in splendid form - her voice that is always brilliantly funny, intelligent, brave, haunting, and full of surprises, revelations, and wise, wild connections. At this point, I don't think I could live without it. If you don't know her yet, your life is about to get better." --Naomi Shihab Nye, author of The Tiny Journalist

"Marion Winik has written another smart, funny, wise set of essays. Her authorial voice has been sweetened and mellowed by domestic contentment, while her observations remain as sharp and her insights as deep as ever. If you're a Winik fan already, you won't be surprised to find yourself moved, amused, and enlightened by Above Us Only Sky. If this is your introduction to her work, you have a rare treat in store." --Martha Beck, author of Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening

Praise for The Baltimore Book of the Dead

"An affecting collection of brief, incisive portraits of departed figures both public and private." --People

"[Winik's] mission is not to be morbid but to find a place in our collective conversation for grief, which might be one of the last social taboos . . . A welcome salve to all of us, and encouragement to honor the people we've lost who are forever with us." --Oprah.com

"With the same candid and humorous writing style she fine-tuned through her years as an All Things Considered commentator, Winik memorializes the departed in short essays that evoke a tender sense of connection in readers." --Lauren LaRocca, Baltimore Magazine

"You'll want to read The Baltimore Book of the Dead as slowly as possible because every observation is a marvel, every sentence a heartbreak or a revelation of joy. This book is both brief and miraculous, and it will be finished before you're ready to let it go. Like life." --Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth

"This slim, deeply moving book is full of elegies that bear witness to the departed and remind us of the beauty and pain and complexity in every life, no matter how obscure. Marion Winik's prose is deceptively rich, suffused with quiet emotion and tender humor. She teaches us how to remember." --Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers and Mrs. Fletcher

"Marion Winik's writing is always a wild and true marvel and never more so than in her latest work, The Baltimore Book of the Dead. With riveting compassion, she looks at all the love and the pain and the detritus that accumulates in the corners of all of our lives and pieces together something sad and lovely and new out of it." --Bill Clegg, author of Did You Ever Have a Family

Praise for The Glen Rock Book of the Dead

"I read this book in one sitting. It's so beautiful, sad, interesting, funny, and true that I simply could not put it down. This is one cool book. Each chapter is about a dead person the author knew. The chapters are short and intense and riveting and beautifully written. Winik has many gifts as a writer, but one I appreciate the most is her ability to write about the hardest, darkest subjects with a light, knowing hand. Situations are bleak, but life is not. Life is hard and hilarious and good and complex and often, entirely inexplicable. Winik shows us that in this book. I love The Glen Rock Book of the Dead. I think you will too." --Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

"Few among us, when we die, will be lucky enough to be eulogized as intriguingly as the individuals in Marion Winik's The Glen Rock Book of the Dead. The slender and elegantly illustrated volume chronicles the stories of some 50 individuals the author once knew, compressing their lives and personal significance into brief, two-page essays. The eighth book from this critically acclaimed writer and poet is a sort of modern-day version of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology - the almost century-old classic that told the tale of a town in the voices of its deceased." --Los Angeles Times

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