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About the Author
Meredith Hall's memoir Without a Map was instantly recognized as a classic of the genre and became a New York Times bestseller. It was named Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and BookSense, as well as Elle's "Readers' Pick of the Year." Ms. Hall was a recipient of the 2004 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation. Her work has appeared in the Five Points, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, New York Times, and many other journals. Hall divides her time between Maine and California.
Praise for Without a Map"Meredith Hall's magnificent book held me in its thrall from the moment I began reading the opening pages . . . a fluid, beautifully written, hard-won piece of work that belongs on the shelf next to the best modern memoirs."--Dani Shapiro "First-time author Hall pens a haunting meditation on love, loss, and family . . . Hall colors outside the lines with this memoir, full of unexpected twists and turns."--People (4 out of 4 stars) "Hall emerges as a brave writer of tumultuous beauty."--Entertainment Weekly "Hall's memoir is a sobering portrayal of how punitive her close-knit New Hampshire community was in 1965 when, at the age of 16, she became pregnant in the course of a casual summer romance . . . Hall offers a testament to the importance of understanding and even forgiving the people who, however unconscious or unkind, have made us who we are."--Francine Prose, O Magazine
Praise for Beneficence"These voices from the past speak so clearly to our time, at a moment when many of us wonder whether we'll lose the things that we consider blessings....Beneficence is a quiet but steady book, one that echoes ancient and important rhythms."--Washington Post "A quiet gem of a first novel. The author's lyrical prose and stark portrayal of grief and guilt...is conveyed so movingly this story is hard to put down. With language poetic in its cadence and capable of seamlessly transporting our minds and emotions to another place and time, this accomplished debut will be welcomed by readers of authors such as Willa Cather, Alice Munro, Amy Tan, or Lisa See."--Library Journal "Spare but decked with moments of crystalline beauty.... A family flounders in grief, but finds their way home through forgiveness and acceptance, in Beneficence, Meredith Hall's gorgeous and moving new novel."--Foreword, starred review "Powerful...[Hall's] meticulous prose convincingly captures the daily realities--sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel--of agricultural life, and offers insight into the ways calamity fractures family bonds...readers will be rewarded."--Publishers Weekly "An emotional journey so deep into the lives of others, you will find yourself, and the people you love, staring back with a face for each of Meredith Hall's characters. One of the best books I've ever read, this quiet, family saga--a masterpiece of compassion and objectivity--has changed the way I see everyone around me, forever."--Simon Van Booy "This fiercely beautiful novel took hold of me from the very first page. Beneficence is at once a page-turner and an artistic triumph. Meredith Hall takes on the old universal truths, as Faulkner once put it: love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. I loved this book, and will be thinking about the Senter family for a long time to come."--Dani Shapiro "If the word 'luminous' didn't already exist, you'd have to invent it to describe Meredith Hall's radiant new novel Beneficence."--Richard Russo "Beneficence is a beautiful novel, quiet and meditative, exquisite in its language, moving in its emotional reach. It delivers a particular time and presence--a Maine farm in the 1950s--with deep love and understanding. This book is like a communion with the land."--Roxana Robinson "In the style of Marilynne Robinson and Stewart O'Nan, Hall writes with quiet urgency, drawing us close to the broken heart of one family's unspeakable loss. Hauntingly beautiful, emotionally devastating, and infused with great compassion, Beneficence shines a light on that liminal space between hate and affection, fate and freewill, mercy and grace--and the power we have to redeem or destroy those we love the most."--Kim Barnes "Beneficence is amazing in its vision. Luminous. With wisdom and compassion, Meredith Hall writes about the capacity for atonement. Beneficence, then. Goodness. Generosity to see deeply, to live through fear and pain on your journey toward the awareness of splendor."--Ursula Hegi "All novels are instruction kits for how they must be read. Meredith Hall's novel Beneficence is forceful in this way and uniquely fruitful. Beneficence will remind a reader of Willa Cather in that it instructs us to savor life, to set aside our cold spirit, to notice human beings closely and tenderly, and to believe that telling life plainly is a virtue which can achieve beauty."--Richard Ford