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The Smoking Book - Lesley Stern

Paperback

Published: 1st January 1999
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"The Smoking Book" is a dreamlike structure built on the solid foundation of two questions: how does it feel to smoke, and what does smoking mean? Lesley Stern, in an innovative, hybrid form of writing, muses on these questions through intersecting stories and essays that connect, expand, and contract like smoke rings floating through the air.
Stern writes of addictions and passionate attachments, of the body and bodily pleasure, of autobiography and cultural history. Smoking is Stern's seductive pretext, her way of entering unknown and mysterious regions. "The Smoking Book" begins with intimate and vivid accounts of growing up on a tobacco farm in colonial Rhodesia, reminiscences that permeate subsequent excursions into precolonial tobacco production and postcolonial life in Zimbabwe, as well as dramatic vignettes set in Australia, the United States, Scotland, Italy, Japan, and South America. Stern has written a book, at once intensely personal and kaleidoscopically international, that weaves the intimate act of a solitary person smoking a cigarette into a broad cultural picture of desire, exchange, fulfillment, and the acts that bind people together, either in lasting ways or through ephemeral encounters.
"The Smoking Book" is for anyone who has ever smoked or loved a smoker (against their better judgment); it is for those who have never smoked or for those who mourn the loss of cigarettes as they would grieve for a lost friend. But mostly, The Smoking Book is for all those who are smoldering still.

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Smoke Circlesp. 1
Burnoutp. 2
Suspended Foreverp. 4
A Fishy Smellp. 12
Not Wantingp. 16
Burialp. 17
Like a Precious Gemp. 23
Yakandandap. 25
The Body Has a Mind of Its Ownp. 31
White Manp. 41
Translation (a gift of opium)p. 45
No Substitutep. 48
Seasicknessp. 50
Screamingp. 62
To Bubble and Rumble (like an elephant)p. 64
Memory Missilesp. 72
A Smoky Edifice (implosion)p. 76
Babies or Booze (metonymy)p. 79
Bombs or Bums (metaphor)p. 81
Traced by (a slight sense of) Bitternessp. 88
Instead of a Lobotomy (a cigarette)p. 94
To Remember (to find yourself in fragments)p. 98
To Forgetp. 104
Chaosp. 109
Smokop. 110
Black Hole Spinning (the physics of writing)p. 114
Healthyp. 118
Strange Attractorsp. 120
A Lycanthropic Age (the writing cure)p. 124
A Boil About to Burst (the talking cure)p. 126
Voicingp. 131
Mouthingp. 132
Appetitep. 134
Lions Don't Smokep. 140
Poisonp. 145
Fog Drinkingp. 147
Kettle Logic (the art of separation)p. 155
I Done a Lotta Bad Thingsp. 161
The Smoking Roomp. 163
Kindness (or, the werewolf comes home)p. 167
Those Places in the Body That Have No Language Eitherp. 168
Anticipation (a crevice opening up)p. 175
Habitp. 176
Panicp. 178
A Sleeping Problemp. 179
Open Armsp. 196
Fire Escapep. 197
Lighting Upp. 200
Unspoolingp. 202
Demonsp. 206
Possessedp. 208
Smoking Landscapep. 215
Life-Giving Mistp. 221
In Transitp. 226
Notesp. 227
Glossaryp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226773339
ISBN-10: 0226773337
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 1st January 1999
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 12.6  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.25