The debut collection of a writer whose accolades precede her: a Whiting Award, a Rona Jaffe Award, a Best American Essays selection, and a Pushcart Prize, all received before her first book-length publication. This book represents a major break-out of an entirely new brand of nonfiction writer, in a mode like that of Ander Monson, John D'Agata, and Eula Biss, but a new sort of beast entirely its own.
Things That Are takes jellyfish, fainting goats, and imperturbable caterpillars as just a few of its many inspirations. In a series of essays that progress from the tiniest earth dwellers to the most far flung celestial bodies-considering the similarity of gods to donkeys, the inexorability of love and vines, the relations of exploding stars to exploding sea cucumbers-Amy Leach rekindles a vital communion with the wild world, dormant for far too long. Things That Are is not specifically of the animal, the human, or the phenomenal; it is a book of wonder, one the reader cannot help but leave with their perceptions both expanded and confounded in delightful ways.
A "HUFFINGTON POST" BEST BOOK PICK
BEST OF 2012 PICK FROM INDIEBOUND
"Words of wisdom....Ms. Leach humanizes and elevates"
-- Rachel Hodin, "The Local," on "NYT.com"
"If Donald Barthelme had made nature documentaries, the commentary might have sounded like this. Lyrical and strange, this engaging book is filled with short tales whose most perfect sentences stay with you, especially in your dreams. "
-- "Huffington Post"
"My new favorite author...her essays explore the lives of caterpillars and frogs, peas and constellations in gorgeous sentences that soar so high you think they're going to fly off the page."
-- Mary Ann Grossman, "St. Paul Pioneer Press"
"A debut collection of essays blends the natural world with, well, everything else...Leach's essays are both fanciful and erudite...Her diction is electrically poetic...Hers is a realistic, though affirmative philosophy: Life is chancy, she admits, and throughout these inventive, sparkling essays, she proposes that for us mortals the way to serenity is through laughter...Leach [is] a gifted writer/naturalist, whose essays are reminiscent of Diane Ackerman's, with a bit more fizz. Her first book, captivatingly illustrated in the woodblock tradition by Nate Christopherson, portends a bright literary future."
-- Kathryn Lang, "Minneapolis StarTribune"
"A magical work of natural history... filled with crystalline imagery and intriguing nuggets of information."
-- Carolyn Sienkiewicz, "Washington Independent Review of Books"
"Her style is whimsical and enchanting, like being led down a rabbit hole.... She shows us our world in rich, researched detail, while still reserving space for mystery."
-- Andrew Johnson, "New Letters"
"This is "The Origin of Species" as a fairy story. Leach has written essays and stories, together in one; essays that explain, that explore, that assay far and wide, into depths and nooks and crannies and the vast expanse of sk
Number Of Pages: 185
Published: 19th June 2012
Dimensions (cm): 20.5 x 14.1 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.34