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Books: Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the Animals
Cover Art: Janet Fagan

Publication Date: January 30, 2009
$17.95 U.S.

From Eastern Washington University Press:

This collection includes two Pushcart Prize winning essays (“Blessing of the Animals” and “Raging Waters”), as well as an essay selected for inclusion in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3 (“Table of Figures”). The essay was originally published in Gulf Coast in Spring, 2008.

In Brenda Miller’s second collection of award-winning essays, the reader is drawn into a conversation on topics ranging from new dogs to old stained glass, from a walk in Portland’s Japanese Garden to a sojourn in Jerusalem, from model airplanes to Magic 8 Balls. As in her acclaimed first collection, Season of the Body, Miller leads us on a pilgrimage through her life as a woman driven by spiritual yearning.

From BREVITY’s Creative Nonfiction Blog:

Essayist Brenda Miller has blessed Brevity with a number of contributions over the years, including Split, a recent craft essay on the practice of letter writing, and our first-ever audio interview.

So yes, that makes us fans, and we are of course happy to hear the news that Brenda’s newest book, Blessing of the Animals, has just been released.

Says author Kim Barnes:  “Brenda Miller writes with such extraordinary grace and intimacy that, despite our weariness and fears, we find ourselves falling in love with the world all over again…”

Congratulations to Brenda, and to anyone lucky enough to read her work.

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Reviews

Book Review of Blessing of the Animals in Brevity.  New!

Book Review of Blessing of the Animals in Seattle Times.  New!

Brenda Miller writes with such extraordinary grace and intimacy that, despite our weariness and fears, we find ourselves falling in love with the world all over again.

—Kim Barnes, author of In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country and A Country Called Home

In Blessing of the Animals, a new dog leads Brenda Miller to explore the blurred edges between the physical and the spiritual, to probe the connective tissues of magnetism, memory, and mysticism. Contemplating the process of aging and the dilemmas of desire, she seamlessly fashions an aesthetics in which the human body can be solidly aware of the moment even as it is soaring “on the verge of flight.”

—Judith Kitchen, author of Only the Dance and Distance and Direction

In her stunning and compelling collection of essays, Brenda Miller embarks upon “the deliberate, tender restoration of all that can be lost.” With a Buddhist’s mindfulness, Miller gives everything from model airplanes to Tiffany glass its full measure of attention. Whether writing of Arabs and Israelis or water slides and spewing volcanoes, she embraces the mingled sorrow and joy that comprise—in equal parts—the things of this world she restores through her tender, deliberate prose.

—Sue William Silverman, author of Love Sick

Delicate, elegant, and occasionally devastating, Brenda Miller's essays are helping to set the standard for our generation.

—John D’Agata, author of Halls of Fame