Still No Word From You: Notes in the Margin (Paperback)

Still No Word From You: Notes in the Margin By Peter Orner Cover Image

Still No Word From You: Notes in the Margin (Paperback)

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Longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

A new collection of pieces on literature and life by the author of Am I Alone Here?, a finalist for the NBCC Award for Criticism


Stationed in the South Pacific during World War II, Seymour Orner wrote a letter every day to his wife, Lorraine. She seldom responded, leading him to plead in 1945, “Another day and still no word from you.” Seventy years later, Peter Orner writes in response to his grandfather’s plea: “Maybe we read because we seek that word from someone, from anyone.”

From the acclaimed fiction writer about whom Dwight Garner of The New York Times wrote, “You know from the second you pick him up that he’s the real deal,” comes Still No Word from You, a unique chain of essays and intimate stories that meld the lived life and the reading life. For Orner, there is no separation. Covering such well-known writers as Lorraine Hansberry, Primo Levi, and Marilynne Robinson, as well as other greats like Maeve Brennan and James Alan McPherson, Orner’s highly personal take on literature alternates with his own true stories of loss and love, hope and despair. In his mother’s copy of A Coney Island of the Mind, he’s stopped short by a single word in the margin, “YES!”—which leads him to conjure his mother at twenty-three. He stops reading Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Beginning of Spring three quarters of the way through because he knows that finishing the novel will leave him bereft. Orner’s solution is to start again from the beginning to slow the inevitable heartache.

Still No Word from You is a book for anyone for whom reading is as essential as breathing.
PETER ORNER is the author of two novels and three short story collections. His previous collection of essays, Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. A four-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize, Orner has been published in The Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta, and McSweeney’s, and his work has been translated into eight ­languages. He has been awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a two-year Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, as well as a Fulbright in Namibia. He is the Chair of the English and Creative Writing Department at Dartmouth College and lives with his family in Norwich, Vermont.
Product Details ISBN: 9781646222049
ISBN-10: 1646222040
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: October 24th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English