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I Just Lately Started Buying Wings: Missives from the Other Side of Silence Paperback – June 22, 2010
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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“[These essays] return readers to the fundamental nonfiction experience, an immersion in real life, exquisitely rendered. Here is a world--her world--so finely observed that it becomes our world, too. Here is a voice, both smoldering and meditative, that inhabits every page like an attentive host, inviting us in and offering no choice but to step over the threshold.” ―Sue Halpern, Bakeless Nonfiction Judge
“'Go fish, Kimche, go fish,' says her grandmother Fanya. And fish Kim Dana Kupperman does, down into the deep uncertain pool of suicide, death by AIDS, religious identity, bodies altered by the radiation poured forth at Chernobyl. These linked stories add up to a life--her life--in ways that are both harrowing and affirming, and that command our readerly respect.” ―Albert Goldbarth, Author of The Kitchen Sink and To Be Read in 500 Years
“Kim Dana Kupperman is many things in this collection of essays--a daughter of tumultuous parents, granddaughter in search of her Ukrainian grandmother, sister of variously troubled half-brothers, a woman trying to sort through the vagaries of her own heart. We note the many things she is and has been, but what is even more exciting in this brilliant debut is that we feel in the presence of a writer. With sensuous, precise, and superbly crafted language, Kupperman gives us what literature at its best does: compelling stories artfully told.” ―Barbara Hurd, author of Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains
“In prose that is by turns lyrical and precise, Kim Kupperman examines the mystery and depth of the human heart. Generous, forceful, and compassionate, I Just Lately Started Buying Wings is a stunning debut by an essayist of the first rank.” ―Michael Steinberg, Founding Editor, Fourth Genre
“A remarkably talented writer, Kim Dana Kupperman understands the essay first and foremost as a literary form. Yet she never ventures into craft or creativity for its own sake. I Just Lately Started Buying Wings is a high-voltage book grounded in the passionate and often messy business of living. And best of all with these essays, something vital is always at issue.” ―Robert Atwan, Series Editor, The Best American Essays
Top Customer Reviews
As for the book, it's captivating. There's not a lot I can add about the plot that other reviewers haven't already, but I have to say that the chapter about digging through the records of her parents' divorce trial is especially impressive. She wants you to feel how she did being yanked back and forth between her squabbling parents, with their childish antics and all. Until the judge's ultimate decision over custody, you will, almost simultaneously, sympathize with and distrust each parent just as she did. Even as her father given legal stewardship takes Kupperman from her mother for the last time, she kicks and screams although she clearly loves her dad. It is definitely an insightful look into the experience of a child's view of a custody battle.
My one complaint: the narrative pace is staggeringly smooth throughout the book. It's really a bit monotonous. After hearing Kupperman speak in person, it was easy to hear her slow, deep voice while I read from her book, but maybe a little too easy. Even the most dramatic dialogue is written with the same slow, yet thoughtful pace. I suppose Kupperman is really playing to her strength-the precision and poesy of her thoughts. It's a bit dark too. Not many happy thoughts.
All in all though, Kupperman's "I Just Lately Started Buying Weeks" is a must-read. Enjoy!
In "The Perfect Meal," Kupperman examines how during this time she felt her life turning into a cliche: "I've never considered that the cliches I've headed into (including this one) are merely reminders that I'm alive, kicking around the same story over and over, trying to transcend the too familiar, sometimes unable to twist language in new ways to describe what or how I'm living." Sure, Kupperman's life did follow many of the cliches--lonely child of divorced parents finding solace in writing; young woman discovering her identity through various adventures; married woman having an affair with a married man that she knows will never work out. But despite living the stories that have been lived a thousand times before, Kupperman does manage to shed new light on the stories. She manages, despite her fears, to twist language in a way that describes how she, and how we all, feel about living.
In one essay, she talks about the 'arrangements' that must be made after a death-the practical aspects that are attended to in a haze of grief. Specifically, what do you do with all that stuff? Do you keep it? What makes something an heirloom? What defines a memory? In all the loss she endured, she realizes:
"Later you touch and sort, discard or keep for another time all the artifacts that testify to a life that has passed...Eventually all these objects are not only handled more than once, they are packed into containers, some resurfacing on shelves or in drawers years later, others given to friends...So many things we once thought were useful and beautiful dissipate or are buried, as if there was no point in having them in the first place. But in the act of letting go of them, there is a relief that they no longer have to be carried, cared for, or worried about."
How many people are willing to admit that carrying the momentos of life can be a burden?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In her essays from I Just Lately Started Buying Wings, Kim Dana Kupperman weaves the
stories of her life with other stories of other people’s lives, meticulously... Read more
I was struck when I heard Kim read from Teeth in the Wind, a reflection about Chernobyl, society's masks, and the chasm adults face when children ask impossible questions. Read morePublished on July 5, 2011 by Belle Woods
I am very pleased with this book, as I have been with every used book I have ordered. I certainly plan to be a long time buyer of your used books.