Barbara Lazear Ascher The Habit of Loving

ISBN 13: 9780394565156

The Habit of Loving

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9780394565156: The Habit of Loving
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Confronting middle age the author reflects on family, loving, career, and that life is a bit of a cheat

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From Publishers Weekly:

Trying on the accoutrements of middle age as though they were a new style of clothing, Ascher explores mutability and loss with a deft, unshrinking touch. Firmly rooted in personal experience, these essays, approximately half of them original, the others reprinted mainly from the New York Times , move with grace from a particular, carefully observed moment to a wider perspective, often encompassing wisdom. A daughter leaving for college is springboard for an examination, in several pieces, of separation, grief, the displacement of generations, the necessity of memory. A section titled "Talking Against Time" examines the way we take stands against illness, aging, death, change. On a Caribbean beach at night with a group of stargazing adults, Ascher writes of a teenaged girl looking for shells: "Unlike her mother, who has come for stars and knows better, she's out for earthly delights." Reflecting on her family's reaction to the death of the family dog, the author ends, "We trip over the space he's left behind." Generally steering clear of the easy emotion or facile phrase, Ascher sometimes skirts perilously close to sentimentality. But in searching for the heart of ordinary events with her sharp, unflinching eye, she uncovers wonder and truth at our very doorsteps.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Informing most of these essays is the feeling that love becomes a habit that endures. A more precise definition of love is not pursued, but its presence is telling: The essay "On Power" shows where it is not and "On Trust," where it is. Romantic, but not exclusively so, love possesses discernment and insight: Out of love we learn to be who we are. After all, "the life we live may be our own." By middle age one often knows how to add up the score without numbers, accepts that a child will leave home, realizes that "one suffers pain alone" and that there is more to life than problem solving. Such are the topics of these essays, which comfort even though "all loving is flawed" and humor because they evolve out of compassion for real life. Ascher's writing is fresh and truthful; hers is a fine collection of thoughts.
- Carol J. Lichtenberg, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780517056288: Habit of Loving

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ISBN 10:  0517056283 ISBN 13:  9780517056288
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, 1990
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