Essays After Eighty

Essays After Eighty

Book - 2014
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"Alternately lyrical and laugh-out-loud funny."—New York Times

“Deliciously readable . . . Donald Hall, if abandoned by the muse of poetry, has wrought his prose to a keen autumnal edge.” — Wall Street Journal

His entire life, Donald Hall dedicated himself to the written word, putting together a storied career as a poet, essayist, and memoirist. Here, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, his essays startle, move, and delight. In Essays After Eighty, Hall ruminates on his past: “thirty was terrifying, forty I never noticed because I was drunk, fifty was best with a total change of life, sixty extended the bliss of fifty . . .” He also addresses his present: “When I turned eighty and rubbed testosterone on my chest, my beard roared like a lion and gained four inches.”  Most memorably, Hall writes about his enduring love affair with his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm and with the writing life that sustains him every day: “Yesterday my first nap was at 9:30 a.m., but when I awoke I wrote again.”
“Alluring, inspirational hominess . . . Essays After Eighty is a treasure . . . balancing frankness about losses with humor and gratitude.” — Washington Post
“A fine book of remembering all sorts of things past, Essays After Eighty is to be treasured.” — Boston Globe

From a former poet laureate, a new collection of essays delivering a gloriously unexpected view from the vantage point of very old age.

Baker & Taylor
A former poet laureate presents a new collection of essays delivering an unexpected view from the vantage point of very old age.

& Taylor

A former poet laureate presents a new collection of essays delivering a gloriously unexpected view from the vantage point of very old age. Simultaneous.

Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2014
ISBN: 9780544570313
Characteristics: 134 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Nov 23, 2016

My favorite book in a long while. Liked the stories of rural northeast America. Since reading this book I have picked up other books by Donald Hall. Liked the short story format.

Oct 10, 2016

Well written essays, honest but not pleasing for every taste. Some are self laudatory, others indicate the partial result of self abuse and then others are funny. The essays show a man who reached old age with lots of good and bad experience almost always someone at his side.
I liked the straightforward, honest style, e.g., mocking the euphemisms used for dying.

Feb 04, 2016

A writer's reflections from the vantage point of 80-plus years. Very witty and readable. Especially enjoyed his observations on exercise ("I did 4 minutes, sometimes even 5, before sagging into bottomless boredom"), critics ("Writers, of course, require praise."), and the importance of mindless pastimes ("Everyone who concentrates all day, in the evening needs to let the half-wit out for a walk.") Overall delightful!

Dec 23, 2015

I really liked these essays and read them all, me who doesn't have time to read all that much. Perhaps a more mature reader would relate more to the material, who knows.
You really get a sense of a live lived, a feeling for the person, and it is easy to relate to our own lives and experiences. At the end, you feel you spent time with a kindred soul.

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