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Published: Jul 23 2012
Size: 6 x 9
The inspiration for Robin Williams's character in the film Dead Poets Society, Sam Pickering is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. His nineteen previous books include Waltzing the Magpies: A Year in Australia, Letters to a Teacher, and Indian Summer: Musings on the Gift of Life.
"In Edinburgh Days, we meet Sam Pickering in the prime of his intellectual curiosity and writerly acumen. As he travels the damp, cobalt-gray streets of the great northern city, we rummage with him in old shops, follow him through gardens and graveyards, and see oft-visited monuments and museums through his fresh eyes. Pickering's deep familial sense permeates the pages, reminding us how connections to home and family can keep us tethered even when abroad. Equal parts self-reflection and world-inspection, these briskly paced essays move artfully in a prose that glistens with natural details and an unapologetic delight in the foibles of humankind at its most genuine. We are fortunate to have Pickering as our tour guide on these meanderings of feet and mind."—Jay Parini, D. E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing, Middlebury College
"No one else writes the contemporary personal essay quite like Pickering. His prose recalls the best and brightest masters of the genre, but with an original voice and style completely his own. This represents his finest work so far. Built around a loose chronology of a semester spent living and working in Edinburgh, the pieces in this collection form a cohesive whole that is by turns evocatively descriptive, poignantly moving, deeply confessional, and richly comic—as only a learned and experienced wit can be. Edinburgh Days invites reflection on the setting, the author, and ourselves. Here Pickering has given us a fine contribution to American letters and, indeed, a celebration of good reading and good writing."—George Garrett, professor emeritus of creative writing, University of Virginia
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