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How Men Pray Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Anhinga Press (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938078828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938078821
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,182,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip F. Deaver is a winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. His book, Silent Retreats, was published by University of Georgia Press. He’s held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Bread Loaf. His work has appeared in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and been recognized in Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has appeared in The Reaper, Florida Review, and Poetry Miscellany. He teaches at Rollins College.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By jpughham on February 2, 2006
I grew up in Phil Deaver's hometown of Tuscola, IL; Phil graduated from high school two years ahead of my brother, Glen, who was in Phil's sister, Maureen's, class. Their parents were heroic icons of our little town; their father was our family doctor, and their mom, Althea, was a nurse and my sister's number one hero who encouraged my sister to go to nursing school. Dr. Deaver was killed in a horrific auto accident by an alleged drunk driver, which incident I don't think the town has ever really gotten over. Phil addresses his grief, memories and the unfinished stories of his dad's life and death, as well as his mom's dying attempts at normalcy ("Isn't this fun?!"). I found the book of poems very cathartic - even though I left Tuscola long years ago, I felt the same knot in my stomach that had been there since hearing of Dr. Deaver's death, and that knot has been released in reading his son's musings. Along with the sad, grief- and question-filled thoughts of his parents, Phil describes our hometown in colorful detail, so that I instantly found myself immersed in the sounds, smells and colors of our town that was surrounded on all sides by corn fields and bean fields. Lest you think this is a book written by some country hick, Phil also interweaves events and thoughts that have occurred since his leaving town to seek his fortune. I had no idea Phil had become a writer and a teacher of writing!! But I'm not surprised - we had terrific teachers who could recognize writing ability in those young, restless adolescents who populated the high school's halls. I stumbled upon Phil's poem, "Flying" in "The Writers Almanac" sent to me by a friend. When the word "Tuscola" jumped off the computer screen at me, I had to re-read the poem several times, at which point, the name, Philip F. Deaver, suddenly made sense. Phil deserves a much larger audience than he has at the moment. Please give this wonderful book a read and it will cause you to thirst for more of his works!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donna on August 16, 2011
Memories weave in and out of the poems in HOW MEN PRAY. There is some element of that, I suppose, in all poetry, but Philip F. Deaver's honest work brings with it a healing touch. One poem recalls his dad "the year before the wreck" and another his mother, whose "house smelled of starch and soap and food," enjoying a meal at Shoney's with only weeks to live. On one level, Deaver accepts the reality of pain, but also questions its purpose. How does the past affect our present, our future, ourselves, our children? What do old typewriters and club houses, lifting "whole worlds upwards" and crosses in sugar have to do with truth? Let's fly with Deaver, "high enough to see the blur of childhood," yet not forget we are also the ones "looking up, squinting hard" as we find meaning in these poems and beyond.
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By Peach 441 on April 21, 2014
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This wonderfully well-crafted poems would make the late Bill Matthews proud. As in his work, Deaver's simple words convey multitudes of meaning and echo with the low tones of loss realized and remembered. This volume should be enjoyed in small sips, like a fine wine.
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