The Cynic in Extremis: Poems

Jacob M. Appel (Author)
Available

Description

Eclectic characters in everyday scenarios populate Jacob M. Appel's The Cynic in Extremis. We attend a sister's second wedding with a "hand-me-down groom"; trick-or-treat with a young son; encounter a former teacher long retired, still critical; relive difficult ancestral memories of the Holocaust. These poems present--often unapologetically--uncomfortable truths gleaned from close examination of social norms and conventions mostly taken for granted. Full of fun, wit, and insight, The Cynic in Extremis is a finalist for the 2017 Able Muse Book Award.

PRAISE FOR THE CYNIC IN EXTREMIS:

The narrative poems in Jacob M. Appel's The Cynic in Extremis cast a cold eye on present and past, personal and political. But like the cynics in their classical conception, the poet's subtext here is hope, at least love, and living without illusion in the extremis of the quotidian. These are mordantly moving, even entertaining poems, always thoughtful and frequently elegiac.
--Dan O'Brien, author of War Reporter

Like his stories--approachable, insightful, and touched with a tinge of sadness for what was and, indeed, is--Appel's poems speak in straightforward, plain language to raise the curtain on the intimacies of his world. New York City with its pigeon lady, the palsied pharmacist, Luigi the barber, beak-nosed Molly Seward's father, and, oh yes, the many girls who "left me breathless" and alone. You can almost hear their footsteps walking the cement pavement. Although good-humored and delightfully smart-alecky, the collection has a dark undercurrent, for it is Holocaust-haunted as he is, as we all are who escaped the horror but are doomed to remember and bear witness.
--Alice Friman, author of The View from Saturn

From this masterful collection arises the sense that, with the end so woefully unpredictable and fate so fickle-hearted, to waste any moment amounts to a sin. Quirky characters, often full of longing and regret, pepper Appel's work, like the uncle so cynical he "steered clear of con games like synagogue/ And life insurance" and his compassionate opposite, the pigeon-feeding, environment-destroying Mrs. Z. These characters seem to fail to leave a mark on the world, beyond the poet's eye.
--Brigit Young (from the foreword), author of Worth a Thousand Words

Both beautifully written and lively, the poems in The Cynic in Extremis embrace the world with warmth and wit. The portraits of family members and friends, workers and teachers, neighbors and a first love, some set in a time long gone, are wonderfully free of nostalgia and sentimentality. Human virtue, vice and folly all have a welcome place, because there's a tone of understanding, forgiveness and humor that pervades this book and makes it a joy to read.
--John Skoyles, author of Suddenly It's Evening and poetry editor at Ploughshares

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney, and bioethicist based in New York City. He is the author of seven collections of short fiction, five novels, and a collection of essays. His short stories have been published in more than two hundred journals and have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. His commentary on law, medicine, and ethics has appeared in the New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, and other major newspapers. He taught for years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Product Details

Price
$17.95  $16.51
Publisher
Able Muse Press
Publish Date
June 04, 2018
Pages
78
Dimensions
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.19 inches | 0.0 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781773490144
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney and bioethicist based in New York City. He is the author of more than two hundred published short stories and is a past winner of the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition, the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award for the Short Story, the Dana Award, the Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction, the North American Review's Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Missouri Review's Editor's Prize, the Sycamore Review's Wabash Prize, the Briar Cliff Review's Short Fiction Prize, the H. E. Francis Prize, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award in four different years, an Elizabeth George Fellowship and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writers Grant. His stories have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Mystery Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthology on numerous occasions. His first novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. Jacob holds graduate degrees from Brown University, Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Law School, New York University's MFA program in fiction and Albany Medical College's Alden March Institute of Bioethics. He taught for many years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Gotham Writers' Workshop and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Reviews

The narrative poems in Jacob M. Appel's The Cynic in Extremis cast a cold eye on present and past, personal and political. But like the cynics in their classical conception, the poet's subtext here is hope, at least love, and living without illusion in the extremis of the quotidian. These are mordantly moving, even entertaining poems, always thoughtful and frequently elegiac.
--Dan O'Brien, author of War Reporter

Like his stories--approachable, insightful, and touched with a tinge of sadness for what was and, indeed, is--Appel's poems speak in straightforward, plain language to raise the curtain on the intimacies of his world. New York City with its pigeon lady, the palsied pharmacist, Luigi the barber, beak-nosed Molly Seward's father, and, oh yes, the many girls who "left me breathless" and alone. You can almost hear their footsteps walking the cement pavement. Although good-humored and delightfully smart-alecky, the collection has a dark undercurrent, for it is Holocaust-haunted as he is, as we all are who escaped the horror but are doomed to remember and bear witness.
--Alice Friman, author of The View from Saturn

From this masterful collection arises the sense that, with the end so woefully unpredictable and fate so fickle-hearted, to waste any moment amounts to a sin. Quirky characters, often full of longing and regret, pepper Appel's work, like the uncle so cynical he "steered clear of con games like synagogue/ And life insurance" and his compassionate opposite, the pigeon-feeding, environment-destroying Mrs. Z. These characters seem to fail to leave a mark on the world, beyond the poet's eye.
--Brigit Young (from the foreword), author of Worth a Thousand Words

Both beautifully written and lively, the poems in The Cynic in Extremis embrace the world with warmth and wit. The portraits of family members and friends, workers and teachers, neighbors and a first love, some set in a time long gone, are wonderfully free of nostalgia and sentimentality. Human virtue, vice and folly all have a welcome place, because there's a tone of understanding, forgiveness and humor that pervades this book and makes it a joy to read.
--John Skoyles, author of Suddenly It's Evening and poetry editor at Ploughshares