Left Bank Books presents A Night of Creative Non-Fiction with John Griswold & Anne-Marie Oomen, who will discuss their highly anticipated and highly praised new works The Age of Clear Profit: Essays on Home and the Narrow Road & As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book in our store on October 10th at 7pm!
Join us in the store or on YouTube & Facebook Live Page. Order copies of The Age of Clear Profit: Essays on Home and the Narrow Road & As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
Griswold & Oomen will personalize and sign copies for sale from Left Bank Books. If you are unable to make it in person, leave a personalization note in your order.
John Griswold is a staff writer at the Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of A Democracy of Ghosts; Herrin: The Brief History of an Infamous American City; and Pirates You Don't Know (Georgia). He has also written extensively (as Oronte Churm) at Inside Higher Ed and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He lives in the St. Louis metro area.
Anne-Marie Oomen is the author of The Lake Michigan Mermaid (coauthored with Linda Nemec Foster), Pulling Down the Barn, House of Fields, An American Map: Essays, Uncoded Woman, and Love, Sex, and 4-H. She has written seven plays, including the award-winning The Secrets of Luuce Talk Tavern. She is a poetry and nonfiction instructor at Solstice MFA at Lasell University and Interlochen College of Creative Arts. She and her husband, David Early, live in their handmade house near Traverse City, Michigan. Visit her at www.anne-marieoomen.com.
About The Age of Clear Profit: Essays on Home and the Narrow Road (Crux: The Georgia Literary Nonfiction)
At age fifty, when many hope to slow down, and what's left, as the poet Kobayashi Issa once wrote, is "clear profit," John Griswold was starting over---again---in a position he had worked decades to achieve. His family moved down the Mississippi Valley, expecting to create a good life with new friends.
What they found instead was a society "organized tightly by race, church attendance, and family name," which in its corruption, laissez-faire corporatism, gun love, and environmental degradation foretold the heightened problems of the United States in an era of deepening political division.
Taking his cue from classical Asian poets such as Basho, Griswold begins to journey, to gain perspective, and to find his own narrow road. He travels around the rim of the Gulf of Mexico and to writers' homes in Russia and New Mexico; attends the protests at Standing Rock; walks the Basho Trail in Japan; and reports on the wholesale slaughter of a Texas rattlesnake roundup and the cruel weirdness of the Angola Prison Rodeo.
Over eight years, Griswold bears witness, pays homage, and finds he is able to define and speak with gratitude about what is most important to him: his children, wholeheartedness, and the act of trying. In the gap between complexity and a little peace and quiet, there is a way to profit anew.
The Age of Clear Profit is an essay collection that coalesces into an artifact of compassion, clear-eyed analysis, humility, and willingness to journey with open eyes and an open heart. It is an indictment of prevalent elements of political and cultural America and a chronicling that draws from multiple threads of understanding, experience, and perspective to weave a narrative of wisdom and living insight.--Aurelie J. Sheehan author of "On
ce into the Night"
About As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book (The Sue William Silverman Prize for Creative Nonfiction)
Writer Pam Houston once summed it up: "Nice mother-daughter stories are a dime a dozen; pain-in-the-ass mother-daughter stories are the ones that grab us." As Long as I Know You is a compelling read for any adult grappling with a living elder who might also be a pain in the ass, particularly, any reader who wants a tender take on the lethal combination of dementia and defiance.
As Long as I Know You narrates Anne-Marie Oomen's journey to finally knowing her mother as well as the heartbreaking loss of her mother's immense capacities. It explores how humor and compassion grow belatedly between a mother and daughter who don't much like each other. It's a personal map to find a mother who may have been there all along, then losing her again in the time of Covid. As the millions of women like Oomen's mother reach their elder years and become the "oldest of the old," their millions of daughters (and sometimes sons) must come on board, involved in care they may welcome the way they'd welcome hitting a pothole the size of a semi. How a family makes decisions about that pothole, how care continues or does not, how possessions are addressed--really, no one wants the crockpot--and how the relationship shifts and evolves (or not), that story is universal.
There is a brave intimacy in As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book. Such a thorough, deep remembrance casts its gaze not only on those who have passed but the devastation of loss itself. Laced into these exquisite sentences is a lesson for us all on how to honor a life.--Aimee Nezhukumatathil author of "World of Wonders"