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Season of the Body: Essays Paperback – April 15, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Sarabande Books; 1 edition (April 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1889330698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889330693
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this collection of affecting and thought-provoking essays, Miller, an English professor at Western Washington University, addresses how so many people try to move determinedly forward in their lives, but often find themselves "doubling back" and "playing out the same plots again and again." Likewise, the forward motion of each of these essays tends to loop back and revisit themes of love, loss, loneliness and healing. Reflections on Miller's romantic relationships, Zen meditation practice, Jewish heritage, infertility, surrogate motherhood and work as a masseuse are among the many points of access through which she explores physicality. Details such as the red and gold of autumn leaves link vastly different vignettes on the pain of a miscarriage, a walk in the New England countryside and a lack of communication between a mother and daughter. Miller's expressions of sadness and loneliness are never laments, though; they're juxtaposed with themes of rebirth, renewal and healing love. About a breast cancer patient, she writes, "I cupped my palms on her sternum, and felt the absence there, an ache traveling up my arm and into my own breast. We both started to cry then: not in a debilitating way, but gently, almost happily, as if we spoke a language of the female, body-to-body, unhampered by the tired obstacle of speech." Miller's observation that "endings never stay put, but keep changing into beginnings; eventually we're left reeling in a perpetual present" serves not as a warning, but an invitation to embrace the cycles of life with calm receptivity.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In these autobiographical essays, Miller reminds readers of the mind-body connection, observing in her introduction that "the body knows a language the mind never wholly masters." Before becoming an assistant professor of English at Western Washington University and editor in chief of the Bellingham Review, the author was trained in therapeutic massage. Her work in the creative nonfiction genre allows her to combine body memory with intellectual memory, creating personal essays that reflect one woman's spiritual and cultural experience. Born into a Jewish household, Miller was given the choice of staying in Hebrew school and having a bat mitzvah or dropping out to pursue her own interests, which started her on a lifelong quest to find answers for herself. The resulting essays are memorable for their sensuality and unflinching honesty. Miller's works have appeared in The Beacon Best of 1999: Creative Writing by Women and Men of All Colors and Storming Heaven's Gate: An Anthology of Spiritual Writings by Women. Recommended for all libraries, public and academic, with large collections of women's literature and self-help books. Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Brenda Miller is the author of Listening Against the Stone (Skinner House Books, 2011), Blessing of the Animals (EWU Press, 2009), Season of the Body (Sarabande Books, 2002), and co-author of Tell it Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction (McGraw-Hill, 2003). Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes. She is a Professor of English at Western Washington University and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Bellingham Review.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Karen K. Lewis on January 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
There is a compelling sensitivity within each sentence of this collection of essays, as Brenda Miller claims her territory on the planet, while at the same time, offers to share her sensory awakenings with the reader. "Before I lived at Orr Hot Springs, I spent a summer baking bread for fifty children on a farm outside Willits. I didn't know I was in practice for becoming a massage therapist, but I knew I mended wounds buried deep inside me as I handled the huge mounds of dough" (89).

The author has a great knack for physical descriptions that resonate with strands of a deeper, spiritual quest.

Highly recommended for anyone in the midst of life-transition, healing from loss, or seeking a closer intimacy with the realm of touch, the ways that earth touches us, the way we touch earth and each other. Healing, inspiring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julia Atwood on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The writing in these essays are exquisite. Beautiful, complex, and expertly crafted. Would highly recommend this work for anyone who enjoys a well crafted piece of writing.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Fillmore on April 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Brenda Miller is amazing. This is the first compilation of her's I've read, and I couldn't help but be impressed.

Sometimes the subject matter is semi-mature (birthing, intermarital relations), so some careful selection of age group appropriateness is suggested.

Miller's prose is touching and well written. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs motivation to write, someone to connect with, or just a good read.
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