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literature

Essays After Eighty

 
 
Author
Donald Hall.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.55 inches
ISBN 9780544287044
Pages/Publication Date 144/2014
Daedalus Item Code 59260
This item is not available.
Description
National Medal of the Arts honoree and former U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, marked by great triumph and shattering loss; here he contemplates the "unknown, unanticipated galaxy" of very old age in essays that startle, move, and delight. "Decades followed each other—thirty was terrifying, forty I never noticed because I was drunk, fifty was best with a total change of life, sixty extended the bliss of fifty." And, poignantly, often joyfully, he limns his present—"When I turned eighty and rubbed testosterone on my chest, my beard roared like a lion and gained four inches"—and writes about his enduring love affair with his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm and the writing life that sustains him: "Yesterday my first nap was at 9:30 a.m., but when I awoke I wrote again."

"Laconic, witty, and lyrical, Hall is a master stylist, yet he remains refreshingly humble and matter-of-fact.... By exploring the joys and vicissitudes of a long life, this work offers revealing insights into the human condition—and the grit and openness it requires."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Essays After Eighty is a treasure ... balancing frankness about losses with humor and gratitude."—Washington Post

"In this collection of 14 essays, the literary lion chews over his life-in-letters with a deft wit.... [Hall] is caustic, funny, wise without being didactic, and even sexy."—Chicago Tribune

 
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