The Lunch-Box Chronicles ) mines the intertwined humor and poignancy of life's exigencies in this earthy essay collection, taking stock"/>

Above Us Only Sky: Essays by Marion Winik

Marion Winik, Author . Seal $14.95 (219p) ISBN 978-1-58005-144-6

NPR personality Winik (The Lunch-Box Chronicles ) mines the intertwined humor and poignancy of life's exigencies in this earthy essay collection, taking stock of moments from childhood to motherhood and reliving them with relish. By turns heartfelt and cutting, playful and contemplative, Winik's chatty narration and musings emerge as vivid brushstrokes on a crowded canvas, jottings of her thoughts at both pivotal moments and more introspective times. With chewable, digestible essays divided among five sections (on her upbringing, growing older, her early adulthood, motherhood and modern life), Winik explores her metamorphoses with bracing frankness and clever turns of phrase, beaming her hard-won enlightenment into a darker past that involved abetting her dying husband's suicide. As she traces her path from New Jersey to Austin, Tex., to rural Pennsylvania, she brings her forthrightness and wit to bear on topics from blended family life to her religious ambivalence (reflected in the collection's title), with a heritage of "diluted, distilled" Judaism. Raising two teenage boys and a toddler in her 40s, she considers the disconnect between the two ages in memorably wry style: "Toppled from my pedestal like a statue of Saddam Hussein, I will be rejected as powerfully as I was once embraced." (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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