Lost Wax: Essays


Product Details

$24.95  $23.20
University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
5.49 X 0.49 X 8.57 inches | 0.55 pounds
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About the Author

Jericho Parms is the assistant director of the MFA writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches at Champlain College. Her essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, the Normal School, Hotel Amerika, the American Literary Review, Brevity, and elsewhere.


In Lost Wax, Jericho Parms offers her readers an intricate map of her coming of age. Loosely chronological and spanning Parms's early life (in the 1980s and 1990s) to her adulthood in the present day, her essays are surfaced, textured, raised, in relief. Home and away have deeply marked her.--Audrey Petty "editor of High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing "
Lost Wax by Jericho Parms is an ekphrastic and lyrical meditation on love, loss, language, family, and identity. Often taking art as a starting point, Parms explores her childhood in the Bronx, her visits to her grandfather's home in Arizona, her parents' divorce, her mixed-race ethnicity, a loving but ultimately 'failed' relationship or two, and her often actualized desire or compulsion to escape, to run, and seek out novel experiences. As much a travel memoir as a collection of essays, the book ultimately enacts an essayistic and valiant attempt at self-understanding. In Parms's hands language and form come first, like the revelations of 'lost wax, ' and confession or personal investment often comes later, with meaning accruing in layers and circles, the 'heart' of each piece revealing itself slowly, through subtle and satisfying digressions. Lost Wax is a book about fitting in everywhere and nowhere, about living in between parents, between identities, between relationships, landscapes, past, present, and future. It becomes, in the end, a stunning celebration of the liminal spaces in life.--Steven Church "author of One with the Tiger: On Savagery and Intimacy "
It is no easy task, for example, to tell a compelling, original story that begins with a child refusing to eat the carrots on her dinner plate, but Parms does it, and the instant she quotes Cezanne's view of carrots as part of the piece, we know she has done something special.--Molly Sprayregen "American Book Review "
The intricacies involved in the weaving of these 18 luminous essays in Lost Wax will please even the most fastidious Virgo. . . . Written in the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, each sentence is carved like a sculpture.--Kelly McMasters "Oprah.com "
The essays in Jericho Parms's Lost Wax read exquisitely as poems, each piece a lyrical moment resplendent with imagery. In a work punctuated by art and music, and tinged with drama and heartache, Parms retraces her steps through the family rooms of her youth, across the galleries of adulthood, to create a portrait of a cultured life borne out of curiosity and relentless wonder.--Rigoberto González "author of Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa "
The author offers beautiful reflections on memory, art, identity, and living within the interstices of the world, and she provides many gems of observation and expertly crafted metaphors and similes. Along the way, Parms also injects the book with an array of arresting historical, cultural, and aesthetic asides. As an artist and a person, what Parms desires most of all is 'to soak everything in, ' and as she does so, we find her to be a perceptive, unsettling, and surprisingly endearing guide.--Kirkus Reviews
Following the inspiration for this book's title, the lost wax method for making cast sculpture, the essays in Parms's delicately molded collection find their form and meaning through meditations on containers and absence. She writes about journeys and distance, freedom and captivity, the losses of pets and people, and 'how material textures enclose our living impulses.' Parms's prose is as elegant and studied as the classical sculpture she admires, making wonderful leaps and astonishing juxtapositions through which her precise, startling images emerge like etchings on glass.--Publishers Weekly