Zero at the Bone

Fifty Entries Against Despair

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Pub Date 05 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2023

Description

Christian Wiman braids poetry, memoir, and criticism to create an inspired, career-defining work.

Few contemporary writers ask the questions about faith, morality, and God that Christian Wiman does, and even fewer—perhaps none—do so with his urgency and eloquence. Wiman, an award-winning poet and the author of My Bright Abyss, lays the motion of his mind on the page in this genre-defying work, an indivisible blend of poetry, criticism, theology, and searing memoir. As Marilynne Robinson wrote, “[Wiman’s] poetry and his scholarship have a purifying urgency that is rare in this world . . . [It] enables him to say new things in timeless language, so that the reader’s surprise and assent are one and the same.”

Zero at the Bone begins with Wiman’s preoccupation with despair, and through fifty brief pieces, he unravels its seductive appeal. The book is studded with the poetry and prose of writers who inhabit Wiman’s thoughts, and the voices of Wallace Stevens, Lucille Clifton, Emily Dickinson, and others join his own. At its heart and Wiman’s, however, are his family—his young children (who ask their own invaluable questions, like “Why are you a poet? I mean why?”), his wife, and those he grew up with in West Texas. Wiman is the rare thinker who takes on the mantle of our greatest mystics and does so with an honest, profound, and contemporary sensibility. Zero at the Bone is a revelation.

Christian Wiman braids poetry, memoir, and criticism to create an inspired, career-defining work.

Few contemporary writers ask the questions about faith, morality, and God that Christian Wiman does...


A Note From the Publisher

Christian Wiman is the author, editor, or translator of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including two memoirs, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (FSG, 2013) and He Held Radical Light: The Art of Faith, the Faith of Art (FSG, 2018); Every Riven Thing (FSG, 2010), winner of the Ambassador Book Award in poetry; Once in the West (FSG, 2014), a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist in poetry; and Survival Is a Style (FSG, 2020). He teaches religion and literature at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and at Yale Divinity School.

Christian Wiman is the author, editor, or translator of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including two memoirs, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (FSG, 2013) and He Held Radical...


Advance Praise

"If there is one word to describe this beautiful and unsparing book, it is 'truthful': Christian Wiman interrogates pain, joy and God with a rare depth of honesty and a wonderful range of conversational partners, literary, mystical, scientific and more." —Archbishop Rowan Williams

"Over the years, readers have thrilled to Christian Wiman in his many avatars: master poet, illuminating literary critic, essayist, memoirist, anthologist. All of these urgent, intense Wimans work together here on a theme uniquely suited to his experiences and his 'ninja blender of a mind.' But this book is far more than just a collection of his readings and sufferings. It is a book, most memorably, of his enthusiasms, his volatile revelations, his hard-won joys. These fifty 'entries on despair' open on infinitudes. The most quintessentially Wiman of all his books so far, Zero at the Bone is astringently, transcendently human." —Amit Majmudar, author of Black Avatar: And Other Essays

"If there is one word to describe this beautiful and unsparing book, it is 'truthful': Christian Wiman interrogates pain, joy and God with a rare depth of honesty and a wonderful range of...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780374603458
PRICE $30.00 (USD)
PAGES 320

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