History Is Embarrassing

Product Details
$21.00  $19.53
CavanKerry Press
Publish Date
6.06 X 9.0 X 0.48 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author
Karen Chase is the author of two collections of poems, Kazimierz Square and BEAR as well as Jamali-Kamali, a book-length homoerotic poem, and the memoirs Land of Stone, Polio Boulevard, and FDR On His Houseboat: The Larooco Log, 1924-1926. She and her husband live in Western Massachusetts. Visit her online at www.karenchase.com.
"In the early '50s, during the polio epidemic, I worked as a physical therapist. I saw firsthand the crushing suffering children and their families endured. I also saw their bravery and love for each other. Karen's memoir is a truly remarkable piece of history."-- "Olympia Dukakis"
"One of the pleasures of being a writer is that you can explore anything," Karen Chase writes in History is Embarrassing, and that's exactly what she does in this vibrant and wide-ranging collection of essays. Her subjects include her experience as a childhood polio victim and her resulting fascination with Franklin Roosevelt; her imaginative journey into the lives, hearts, and voices of two homosexual lovers in 16th century India; a rollicking road trip across the country with her grown son; her baptism and immersion into the world of guns; and her hair-raising investigation into a bear-poaching ring. What binds them all together is her distinct voice, the startling directness, immediacy, and intensity of her writing, and her fearlessness to go wherever her interests and imagination take her. History may be embarrassing, as her title attests, but Chase is not afraid of being embarrassed, or, for that matter, of spending time alone with a slightly menacing man and his arsenal of weapons, if it might lead to the discovery of something she doesn't know. Yet there are no easy conclusions or phony epiphanies here, no designs on the reader, but instead many surprises, and an openness that "clears the air for unexpected forces to breathe." Chase prizes authenticity and has it in spades. Believe me, you've never read essays quite like these. They will make you feel 'like a hunter walking deep into the forest of knowledge to find god knows what.' Enjoy!" -- "Jeffrey Harrison, author of "Between Lakes""
"Karen Chase has put together an absolutely fascinating edition of the log describing Franklin Roosevelt's winter cruises along the Florida coast in 1924-26. Wonderfully illustrated and edited, this is a book that will appeal to historians, FDR aficionados, Floridians, fishermen, and boaters of all kinds. Highly recommended."-- "Nathaniel Philbrick, author of "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex""
"Lyric and eros armed with a tattered shield of humor - Karen Chase is present in her life and our times."-- "Andrei Codrescu, author of "No Time Like Now""
"Karen Chase's poems modulate from the humorous to the erotic and then to the elegiac. All is held together by her skill and intensity. No line sleeps in these poems in which moments of real experience are isolated and made incandescent."
-- "Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003"