The Merry Recluse: A Life in Essays

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9781582433134: The Merry Recluse: A Life in Essays

Caroline Knapp's was one of this country's most intelligent, graceful, and humorous voices in memoir. Her readers are known not just for their number, but for their intense connection to her work. In Drinking: A Love Story, she homed in on the often unspeakable fears and longings that led to her alcoholism and back again. In Pack of Two, she trained her eye on the bonds between humans and animals. And in Appetites: Why Women Want, she brought her rigorous scrutiny to the ways in which culture shapes a woman's body and her hunger.Now, with The Merry Recluse: A Life in Essays, Knapp shows us that her vision through a wider lens is as brilliant as through a narrow one. This collection of essays spanning fifteen years paints the fullest picture of this wonderful writer that we've yet seen, but it's also a remarkably full portrait of a writing life, showing how the same themes can engage--and expand--a writer over a lifetime. Here are her major preoccupations, with work and love, with growth and loss, with distance and intimacy. Solitude, shyness, cereal for dinner, the fine line between boredom and lust, why women ask stupid questions, mastering the art of healthful self-deception--subjects that are universally poignant while charming, funny, and incisive--are explored in both long, thoughtful pieces and light, hilarious essays.

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About the Author:

Caroline Knapp was the author of the best-selling books, Drinking: A Love Story and Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs and Appetites: Why Women Want.

From Booklist:

When she died in 2001 at the age of 42, Knapp was just hitting her stride as a journalist, as a writer, as a woman. She would also have added the titles "friend," "daughter," and "ex-addict" to the list. This posthumous collection of essays once published in contemporary magazines and columns originally written for staid newspapers reveals the arc of her professional career and exposes a maturation process that came at great personal cost. Unafraid to tackle subjects both universal and individual, public and private, Knapp expressed her views with a unique outlook that, paradoxically, resonated with legions of loyal readers who recognized some part of themselves in her. Whether she was writing about her own alcohol addiction and anorexia, or the death of her parents and life's daily frustrations, Knapp's talent lay in her utter guilelessness, her open accessibility, and her disarming ability to bare it all. The loss of her is enormous, and her last words are to be treasured. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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