Loitering: New and Collected Essays
DescriptionCharles D'Ambrosio's essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have pressed it upon their friends, students, and colleagues, only to find themselves begging for their copy's safe return. For anyone familiar with D'Ambrosio's writing, this enthusiasm should come as no surprise. His work is exacting and emotionally generous, often as funny as it is devastating. Loitering gathers those eleven original essays with new and previously uncollected work, so that a broader audience might discover one of our great living essayists. No matter his subject--Native American whaling, a Pentecostal "hell house," Mary Kay Letourneau, the work of J.D. Salinger, or, most often, his own family--D'Ambrosio approaches each piece with a singular voice and point of view; each essay, while unique and surprising, is unmistakably his own.
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About the AuthorCharles D'Ambrosio is the author two collections of short stories, "The Point" (a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award) and "The Dead Fish Museum" (a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award), as well as the essay collection "Orphans." His work has appeared frequently in "The New Yorker," as well as in "Tin House," "The Paris Review," "Zoetrope All-Story," "A Public Space," and "Story." He's been the recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and a USA Rasmuson Fellowship. He lives in Portland, OR.
[D'Ambrosio's] toolkit, finite and familiar, is the English language, the same one ticker-taping through your conscious mind and mine, but with it he constructs sentences, paragraphs, entire pages of such sustained insight and fluency that you can't help but feel a little fraudulent as a fellow user of the same mother tongue.
Loitering, by Charles D'Ambrosio, gets something deeply right about being uncertain, being in-between, being human. Its essays refuse the violence of imposing too much resolution on the world. This praise might sound abstract, but it's more like a kind of closed-eye, clenched-fist gratitude: Thank you. These essays help me believe in what's holy in the mess.--Leslie Jamison
*Loitering makes NPR's 2014 Best of the Year list
*Time Out New York names Loitering one of the Top Ten Books of the Year
*Loitering makes the Pacific Northwest Bestseller List
*Loitering shortlisted for the PNBA awards
Erudite essays that plumb the hearts of many contemporary darknesses.
His writing is all guts and heart.
Every [essay] is a pleasure, diamond-cut and sharp in its incisive observations on how to be a human.
D'Ambrosio is a masterful writer. The essays are candid, playful, funny, and often wrenching.
If you're a fan of well-written essays, checking out this collection, which encompasses both D'Ambrosio's earlier Orphans and work he's completed since then, is a must. D'Ambrosio is equally good at channeling his own tortured family history and evoking the history of a place or work of literature.