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Above Us Only Sky: Essays Paperback – September 21, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (September 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580051448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580051446
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

NPR personality Winik (The Lunch-Box Chronicles) mines the intertwined humor and poignancy of life's exigencies in this earthy essay collection, taking stock of moments from childhood to motherhood and reliving them with relish. By turns heartfelt and cutting, playful and contemplative, Winik's chatty narration and musings emerge as vivid brushstrokes on a crowded canvas, jottings of her thoughts at both pivotal moments and more introspective times. With chewable, digestible essays divided among five sections (on her upbringing, growing older, her early adulthood, motherhood and modern life), Winik explores her metamorphoses with bracing frankness and clever turns of phrase, beaming her hard-won enlightenment into a darker past that involved abetting her dying husband's suicide. As she traces her path from New Jersey to Austin, Tex., to rural Pennsylvania, she brings her forthrightness and wit to bear on topics from blended family life to her religious ambivalence (reflected in the collection's title), with a heritage of "diluted, distilled" Judaism. Raising two teenage boys and a toddler in her 40s, she considers the disconnect between the two ages in memorably wry style: "Toppled from my pedestal like a statue of Saddam Hussein, I will be rejected as powerfully as I was once embraced." (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Though often compared to Erma Bombeck and Anna Quindlen, with perhaps a dash of Garrison Keillor or Bill Maher thrown in, intrepid NPR commentator Winik's voice is as unique as her observations and as recognizable as her experiences. By turns pithy and poignant, outraged and outrageous, Winik's latest collection of essays once again mines the rich veins of her personal life as she muses on themes both familiar (marriage and motherhood) and fresh (post-9/11 America), doing so with the unapologetic frankness and unbridled humor fans have come to expect. And while the laughs are still there, there's also a tempered maturity that nicely balances Winik's self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek approach. Middle age is upon her, a perfect time for reflection and prediction, appreciation and apprehension, making amends and making a difference. Equally comfortable commenting on the Taliban as on tattoos, blended families and borrowed fame, the always entertaining Winik is at her most eloquent, however, when examining her own life through a precisely calibrated personal microscope. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sue E. Wildt on May 11, 2009
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This book by Marion Winik is wise, funny, and fantastic. Just a great read overall, and because it's a series of short pieces, it's easy to stop anywhere in the book when one is interrupted! Love her thoughts on motherhood!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robin Meloy Goldsby on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Marion Winik is one of those rare and brilliant writers who makes the brave leap from real life experience to the written page with grace, humor, style, and enough grit to make it all surprising. My favorite chapter is the title chapter, Above Us Only Sky, which has about a thousand layers and levels of of emotion . . . just like people. Winik captures us at our best and worst, but also at all the in between places, those gray corners where most of us live, most of the time. This book throws a lot of bright hot light into those corners.
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As a former 7th grade English teacher, I must admit the word "essay" brings back some memories of pretty rough reading! I had long forgotten the beauty and simplicity of the genre....Marion Winik is a master, and she re-ignited in me the passion for writing with "Above Us Only Sky". I live in the Austin area, so she also brought back some great flavors of my region. I have since ordered several copies to share with friends. THANK YOU MARION!
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Above Us Only Sky by Marion Winik is a MUST READ! Marion Winik is the perfect combination of thought provoking and hilarious. I love the title essay, Above Us Only Sky set in Austin, Texas in 1981. It is a great lesson in the pitfalls of youth. I also loved Reading this Essay Will Make You Look and Feel Ten Years Younger. I happened to be reading it in the waiting room for my annual mammogram. Sitting in the waiting room with several 50 plus aged women in fluffy white bathrooms added to humor! Marion Winik uses words like Van Gogh used paint strokes. I am completely hooked!

Above Us Only Sky: Essays
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda L. Weeks on February 16, 2008
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Marion Winik sure has her sh&% together. I just love her, and the book made me feel so alive. Thanks Marion!
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