Cacophony of Bone: The Circle of a Year

Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.6 X 1.1 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
Kerri ní Dochartaigh is the author of Thin Places. She has written for The Guardian, the Irish Times, the BBC, Winter Papers, and others. She is from the North West of Ireland but now lives in the middle, in an old railway cottage with her partner and dog.
Praise for Cacophony of Bone "The author's day-book follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Thin Places . [. . .] ní Dochartaigh's observations are lyrical and relatable. [. . .] A raw, honest, and poetic memoir.--Kirkus Reviews"In poems and essays, Ni Dochartaigh writes in exquisite detail of the seasons, beginning with the "ghost-trace, moon-white" and silent winter that kicks off a new phase of life."--Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times"Kerri ní Dochartaigh (Thin Places, 2022) takes readers on a yearlong journey through theunpredictable and unprecedented year of 2020. [. . .] Ní Dochartaigh's reflections during this time are powerful and poignant, examining themes of motherhood, death, and time. As she grapples with depression, sobriety, and fertility, ní Dochartaigh parallels the social turbulence and pandemic chaos with the majesty of nature. Unyielding storms, precious birds, and beautifulplants offer a sense of peace to a broken world. Readers are reminded to "remember the light," with notes of gratitude and optimism weaved throughout, along with many nods to the healing power of literature. Personal, relatable, and restorative, Cacophony of Bone voices a crucial plea to have faith in humanity."--Grace Rosen, Booklist"Ni Dochartaigh's chapters are lyrical and deliberately slow, the time allowed its dignified procession without literary tricks. 'I can't go back to who I was before that year, ' the author writes, and readers who follow her also will be changed."--Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times"This is like nothing I've read before. Utterly new, yet relatable. Cacophony of Bone is such a generous, tender sharing. Reading it had me feeling like an unexpected, yet somehow worthy, witness to Kerri's vulnerability. The poetic, lyrical way she describes her emotions, the flora and fauna, and what's she's reading, the light . . . all of her observations, it is a gift. To have joined her on the journey of her, and our, 2020, was a privilege. I was inspired, moved, grateful."--Grace Hagen, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO"Having just moved into a hundred-year-old stone cottage with her partner in the Irish countryside, Kerri ní Dochartaigh chronicles her day-to-day life in the calendar year of 2020, a year that disrupted the world. Cacophony of Bone is not a book easily described, as it truly encapsulates the feelings and happenings of a well-rounded and contemplative existence, even in rural isolation. Gardening, literature, and the instinctual yearning of motherhood are just a few of the focal themes of this year-long diary, all the while often relating to the everyday natural world and mysticism of Irish life and belief. Just as every individual experience through time, Cacophony of Bone keeps space for both inspiration and poignancy, rumination and freedom. A truly thoughtful and introspective memoir."--Andrew King, Secret Garden, Seattle, WA"A gorgeous, elegiac meditation on time, the natural world, and all the aspects of life that we can only understand through our mind's eyes. Kerri ní Dochartaigh is a gifted writer and Cacophony of Bone is a joy to read."--Debra Ginsberg, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, CA"Through poems, essays, snippets, diary entries--an impressionist painting of words--Dochartaigh leads us through a life-changing pandemic year in which she makes a home, takes refuge in the natural world, and experiences the first months of pregnancy. Lovely and lyrical prose celebrates the beauty and meaning found all around us. A beautiful book you'll want to sit with."--Alana Haley, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI"This is a book to read slowly, sharpened pencil in hand. This is a book to read at daybreak and dusk, in the garden or by the water. This is a book to read for grief and joy and the spaces between. ní Dochartaigh's sentences gleam with the same moon-bright light that they take as their subject, making Cacophony of Bone a truly incandescent read."--Ellie Windsor, Bookpeople, Austin, TX"Cacophony of Bone is a lyrical daybook-diary, filled with snippets of life lived during a year of pandemic lockdown, in a new home in the Irish countryside. Short essays and poetic renderings give us a chance to slow down and savor the good things that life has to offer. If you're seeking a bit of respite from the wild, the loud, the chaotic life of our times, you'll find it in this lovingly crafted narrative, brought to us directly from the honest shared experience of Kerri ní Dochartaigh. Come visit a place of peace and joy and go away with a renewed energy and a softer heart--and maybe even some fresh understanding."--Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA"During the time Kerri ní Dochartaigh was finished Thin Places (a wonderful book), she moved to a remote railway cottage in Ireland that her partner had inherited. In her 36 years she'd moved an average of once per year. It proved to be more transformative than she could have imagined. Within weeks of arriving in late December, a Covid lockdown was put in place. In her relative isolation with her partner and dog, it proved to be the beginnings of a new and unexpected life. After giving up on being able to conceive years before, she became pregnant. She had never planted a garden and discovered the healing that gardening can provide. She began this book in the times there, searching for the meaning of home and having a child. ní Dochartaigh writes in an embracingly beautiful way. Her insights during such tumultuous times provide an unexpected comfort in the memoires of the pandemic that changed us forever. Allow yourself this gift of words."--Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI"Kerri ní Dochartaigh's writing is not to be missed. I love this story of making a home and a place. Per usual with Kerri's writing, I found myself rereading passages."--Jayne Rowsam, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI"This book made me want to write again--Kerri ní Dochartaigh's emotive, evocative diary entries from a hard pandemic year sing with hope and light and deep wisdom. With a close eye on the natural world, a vivid imagination, and candor, she charts the circle of the year from winter to winter. I was held rapt by her descriptions of her garden from seed planting to seed gathering and by her journey into pregnancy and motherhood. Lyrical, luminous; an inspiring and heartwarming read."-- Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA"Raw, visionary, lucid, and mystical, Cacophony of Bone speaks of the connection between all things, and the magic that can be found in everyday life."--Katherine May, bestselling author of Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age"Kerri ní Dochartaigh's Cacophony of Bone is an arrestingly poetic, genre-bending meditation on time and place. If the pandemic made one thing clear, it's that time is shimmering and slippery, a shapeshifter. It moves the way Kerri ní Dochartaigh's brilliant mind moves, like a fast, deep river. I am as thrilled by the artistry of her sentences as I am by the wisdom they carry in their current. Cacophony of Bone will live on my bookshelf beside Thin Places, one of my favorite books of the past several years. I know I'll reach for them both again and again."--Maggie Smith, New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful"A hypnotic book, at once bare and dense with the stuff of life: bolted lettuce, a cup of tea gifted at the end of a rainy day, always the bright, still world returning. At its heart there sits a human creature, a woman writer wrestling her awareness to attention again and again. A sacred book, for turning outward and inward at the same time."--Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize"In a time of isolation, Kerri ní Dochartaigh made a place of belonging. In a season of sickness, she became a vessel for unlooked-for life. In a year of burgeoning fear and rising fury, she tilled her grief into dark soil and brought forth a blooming garden. Kerri ní Dochartaigh is nothing less than an alchemist, and Cacophony of Bone is a wondrous book."--Margaret Renkl, author of Graceland, At Last"Kerri ní Dochartaigh's luminous first book was called Thin Places; in Cacophony of Bone she makes a study of the thickening that can happen as we dwell, garden, survive, and root. Mapping one extraordinary year of pandemic enclosure--from January to solstice--she charts moonlight, swim, seedpod, and sprouting, also giving us a record of how the steadiness of a writing practice can become a binding, can scaffold us into more steadiness in our own lives. For those that wonder what it might be like to make a craft of bearing witness, ní Dochartaigh's book is a reminder to live with gratitude and curiosity, and to face each day with heart and notebook open."--Tess Taylor, author of Leaning Toward Light"Kerri ní Dochartaigh is a singular writer, and Cacophony of Bone is a stunning work that bristles with light. There isn't a sentence in this marvelous daybook that doesn't awaken in the reader a deeper sense of wonder, reverence, and--despite all--belonging."--Chris Dombrowski, author of The River You Touch"Reading Kerri ní Dochartaigh's Cacophony of Bone is like stepping inside the place where poetry comes from. In these pages objects, time, form, memory, grief, politics, sensuality, and change meet. It's a conversation, a prayer, an address, and an answer. I found myself talking with her as I read."--Pádraig Ó Tuama, author of Poetry Unbound