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Message from a Blue Jay - Love, Loss, and One Writer's Journey Home Paperback – May 14, 2014
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
"Faye Rapoport DesPres transports us back to that mysterious realm of what it is to be human in all its grit and beauty, as close to the bone as you can get. She captures that essence in her essays and it unfurls like watching the blaze of a sunrise over the mountains slowly usurp what was considered mundane and pedestrian before we witnessed it. Exceptional and unparalleled." --~ Meg Tuite, Author of Bound by Blue and Domestic Apparition and fiction editor of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact
"Channeling Dante, DesPres regards the middle of her life's journey, and finds it challenging. Her honest, affecting memoir about her forties is written with a lyrical touch and covers topics that will resonate with many readers: a new husband; a falling-down house; a dying mother-in-law, who's not going gently into her good night; travels to other countries; and magical encounters with the outdoors." --Brandeis Magazine
About the Author
Faye Rapoport DesPres has spent much of her writing career as a journalist and business/non-profit writer. In 2010 she earned her MFA from Pine Manor College, where she focused on creative nonfiction. Her journalism has appeared in the New York Times, Animal Life, Trail, Timberline and other publications. Her personal essays, fiction, and poetry have been published in Ascent, Superstition Review, and Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, as well as other journals, magazines, and anthologies. Currently, DesPres is an adjunct first-year writing instructor at Lasell College. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and their rescued cats.
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Top customer reviews
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I found the contrasts in this book very moving and It caused me to think of the ups and downs of my own life: prostate cancer, divorce, bankruptcy. Easy to gloss over but at the time agonizing. DesPres writes: “No life is fully shared. Loneliness is always waiting, like the water beneath the wooden plank that Ralph placed over the creek.”
This is not easy writing to read, but sooner or later we all have to face up to the other side. This author provides the right mechanism to do just that.
PS Be sure to read her FB entries at the end. I have long believed writing let’s us live life more fully. But it is not all intense, like the finished product. Some of it is listening to the conversation at other tables in Panera’s.
- J. Lehman, www.RosebudBookReviews.com
Faye Rapoport DesPres’ writing is haunting and exquisite. She draws the reader into her search for a sense of peace, and a home, by examining some of the more poignant episodes from her life.
Her struggle to keep from being consumed by the sadness and pain she experiences, is tempered by reminders that she needs to live, to love, to learn to let go, and to be present for everything life has to offer.
Rapoport describes, to use a Yiddish word, her idiosyncratic spilkes, an incessant restlessness. Somewhere she labels herself as a “fidgety” child. Serendipitously she has lived overseas, traveled between states, visited relatives for a year in Israel and yet she feels out of place, disjointed if you will. Rapoport is a seeker and we know that seekers never arrive; Sisyphus has taught us that it is the journey and not the arrival that matters. At the end or near the end of each essay she reaches a conclusion about herself which ties things up but they don’t really do that, for Rapoport keeps at it. And what she uses to metabolize her learnings is to engage the natural world. Famous women anthropologists have done this, Dian Fossey, for one.
Exquisitely attuned to the natural world, animal sounds and behavior, the songbird music of the morning, her adventures with cats and one horrific scene in which she speeds through red lights to save her cat, “Franklin,” savaged by a coyote stay in mind. It is not important to explain this affinity she has. She uses it to draw upon, to assess her relationship to the world, to her husband and her parents. A charming essay has her go to Walden Pond – with a laptop, and that technological artifact is not lost on her.(E.B. White’s magnificent essay on Thoreau comes to mind.)
A fair portion of the book deals with her feelings about aging, what I call a symptom of being young. And it is a persistent theme, birthdays and all that. I will gladly assume that in her next book of essays she will use her profound empathy to unraveling her own anxious states and of the loving people around her. What is critical here is Rapoport’s using the honorable tradition of extrapolating from the natural world to human beings -- and herself. In that she succeeds.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who is searching for their place in the world. It serves as a reminder that there are others out there who understand what you're going through---be they human or not. There are messages all around if you listen.
Most recent customer reviews
The book reads like what it is: A collection of essays.Read more