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The Book of Delights: Essays by Gay, Ross

The Book of Delights: Essays


Ross Gay


As Heard on NPR's This American Life

"Ross Gay's eye lands upon wonder at every turn, bolstering my belief in the countless small miracles that surround us." --Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate

The winner of the NBCC Award for Poetry offers up a spirited collection of short lyric essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders.

In The Book of Delights, one of today's most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay's funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend's unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything other subject, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world--his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.

The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.

Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Published: 02/12/2019
ISBN: 9781616207922
Pages: 288
Weight: 0.60lbs
Size: 7.20h x 5.20w x 1.20d

Review Citations: Kirkus Reviews 02/01/2019
Booklist 12/15/2018 pg. 80
Publishers Weekly 12/17/2018
Foreword 12/26/2018
Shelf Awareness 12/03/2019