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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Alessandra Domina: "Hooray for Waking the Bones!"

WAKING THE BONES, by Elizabeth Kirschner, a memoir
ISBN: 978-1-939739-60-5
Publisher: The Piscataqua Press, Portsmouth, NY
Rated: Five Stars


“Hooray for Waking the Bones”
Reviewed by Alessandra Domina, originally for Amazon

"Waking the Bones" is one of those memoirs one dreams about reading -- a gutsy, shameless, prose poem of the highest lyrical order that leaves one in awe of the process and the talent put out by the author. Kirschner unavoidably raises herself above the masses by layering a kaleidoscope of childhood memories underneath and on top of her present adult self, digging down so deep in some chapters that one is relieved that the subsequent chapter brings her back up into the light. Thank goodness Kirschner is, first, a poet. Then thank goodness she decided to share her survival story. The two have brought us a brilliant expose filled with terror and love on the same page.

"Waking the Bones" is intense with familiar images of everything that ever happened to everybody, or almost did. It is a biography of man and woman, mother and father, daughter and siblings. It is universal in scope even though it is a singular voice. It is ever a chameleon, changing mode, tone and color despite it's diminutive size. It should be required reading for all psychiatrists, counselors, and those afflicted with even the slightest mental illness.

"Waking the Bones" puts salve on wounds just by existing as a literary accomplishment. A very important book for Kirschner, but equally important for readers everywhere. It's a reality show of the highest order. Read it and be changed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth Kirschner’s memoir, WAKING THE BONES,  is the winner of the North Street Book Prize for best work of nonfiction by an Independent author. (Learn more about that prize at http://winningwriters.com).   Kirschner has published six previous volumes of poetry, including, Surrender to Light, 2009, Cherry Grove Editions and Do My Life as a Doll, 2008, Autumn House Press. My Life as a Doll was nominated for the Lenore Marshall Prize and named Kirschner as the Literary Arts Fellow in state of Maine in 2010. She has also published over two dozen essays with The Coal Hill Review and is widely published in other literary magazines, both nationally and internationally. 

Kirschner has been writing and teaching across four decades. Most recently, she taught in Fairfield University’s low-residency Program in Creative Writing. Extensive teaching experience includes Boston College, Boston University and Carnegie-Mellon University. Residency stays include The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and Gullkistan, Iceland.

Kirschner has collaborated with many classical composers, including Carson Cooman
and Thomas Oboe Lee, resulting in various CDs. She set her own poetry to Robert Schumann’s love song cycle, retitled it The Dichterliebe in Four Seasons. She lives in a cottage named Sea Cabin on the water in Kittery Point, ME, with her old dog, Larka. Kirschner is available for readings, signings, is a dynamic public speaker and loves to lead Memoir Writing Workshops for all populations. 

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.
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