A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write

Bellevue Literary. May 2015. 208p. ISBN 9781934137963. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781934137970. LIT
OrangeReviewStarIn this collection of essays, Pritchard (English, Arizona State Univ.; Spirit Seizures) meditates on subjects as varied as the artist's role, the importance of voice in writing, the particular magic of dachshunds, mourning, loss, modern-day slavery, and bearing witness through it all. Packed with musings and observations, each essay is as insightful as it is engaging. Highly readable, Pritchard's writing is poignant and thought provoking, never condescending. Her thoughts on loss and mourning are relatable, while her ode to the Frisbee-loving S will touch a chord among pet parents far and wide. This is the kind of book that brushes on the personal and political, life's highs and lows. Each piece can be read as a stand-alone or as part of Pritchard's larger narrative on bearing witness.
VERDICT Pritchard will make you cry, think, and laugh; each essay is filled with wit and wisdom from writers old and new, informing Pritchard's own careful observations. A great read for writers, readers looking for enlightenment, and those who savor nonfiction that explores the spiritual through the everyday.
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