A celebration and meditation on the season for drinking hot chocolate, spotting a wreath on a neighbor's door, experiencing the change in light of shorter days. All aspects of Winter, from the meteorological to the mythological, are captured in this masterful essay, told in wise and luminous prose that pushes back the dark.
Winter begins with the shortest day of the year before nightfall. As in her companion volume, Summer Solstice, the author meditates on both the dark and the light and what this season means in our lives.
"Winter tells us," Nina MacLaughlin says, "more than petaled spring, or hot-grassed summer, or fall with its yellow leaves, that we are mortal. In the frankness of its cold, in the mystery of its deep-blue dark, the place in us that knows of death is tickled, focused, stoked. The angels sing on the doorknobs and others sing from the abyss. The sun has been in retreat since June, and the heat inside glows brighter in proportion to its absence. We make up for the lost light in the spark that burns inside us."
If Winter is a time you love for its memories and traditions, if you love writing that takes your breath away with lyrical leaps across time and space, Winter Solstice is an unforgettable book you'll cherish.
Praise for Winter Solstice:
"Nina MacLaughlin returns to celebrate the winter solstice, and delivers a most sensual hymn and harbor for the human ability to feel our way through the darkness towards wise, unexpected connections. This ethereal collection offers us a candle at night--it's an astonishing gift."
-- Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
"Nina MacLaughlin stands shoulder to shoulder with such writers as José Emilio Pacheco and Fleur Jaeggy. In Winter Solstice we are invited into the impending dark, guided through our own, and in the end given just enough light to survive. MacLaughlin's meditation is both universal and uncommonly distinct. An immense joy to read, Winter Solstice is not so much an essay as it is a vision."
-- Matthew Dickman, author of Husbandry
"Smart and lyrical--this book makes you feel alive."
-- Nicholson Baker, author of The Anthologist
Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake Siren: Ovid Resung, a finalist for a LAMBDA Literary Award and the Massachusetts Book Award, the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter, and the companion to Winter Solstice, Black Sparrow's Summer Solstice. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.