A vibrant, passionate engagement with the transcendent joys of family and aging
Winner of the National Book Award and the author of numerous highly praised works of fiction and nonfiction, Ellen Gilchrist is also a daughter, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who takes delight in her large, wonderful family. Things like the Truth offers a collection of nonfiction essays about Ellen Gilchrist's life, family, home, work, aging, and the fun of fighting to stay healthy in an increasingly undisciplined culture. This collection brings together for the first time essays by Ellen Gilchrist on her later life and family.
Essays such as "The Joy of Swimming" reveal how Gilchrist, as an aging person, thinks about the joys one can discover late in life. Other essays focus on surgery, money, childhood memories, changing perspectives, and the vagaries of the age. Gilchrist pays special attention to her evolving relationships with her adult children and the pleasures and pitfalls of being a grandmother and great-grandmother. The volume also includes essays from her diary about the sense of place in her mountain home near her work at the University of Arkansas and about life after Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, her second residence.
Reviewers have praised Gilchrist's "deliciously wise and humorous voice" in her stories and that same voice pours forth in these essays. Gilchrist takes delight in the foibles of human behavior and searches for the humor and wisdom in every situation. She also loves to give advice, and happily dispenses guidance to fans, family, and anyone in a grocery store line. This collection of essays presents Gilchrist at her best. Engaging, funny, and fearless, she describes the joys and difficulties of a well-lived life. Her fans will devour these essays and will revel again in the company of an author they know so well. Both personal and profound, with plenty of humor, this collection allows Gilchrist's inimitable spirit to shine throughout.
Ellen Gilchrist, Fayetteville, Arkansas, teaches creative writing at the University of Arkansas. She is the author of several collections of short stories and novellas including The Cabal and Other Stories, Flights of Angels, The Age of Miracles, The Courts of Love, In the Land of Dreamy Dreams, Victory Over Japan (winner of the National Book Award in 1984), Drunk with Love, I Cannot Get You Close Enough, and most recently, Acts of God. Her novels include The Anna Papers; The Annunciation; Net of Jewels; Starcarbon; Sarah Conley; Anabasis: A Journey to the Interior; and I, Rhoda Manning, Go Hunting with My Daddy. She is the author
of two collections of essays, Falling through Space and The Writing Life, both published by University Press of Mississippi.
144 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 20 b&w illustrations