New & Collected Essays

Book - 2014
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"Charles D'Ambrosio's essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have pressed it upon their friends, students, and colleagues, only to find themselves begging for their copy's safe return. For anyone familiar with D'Ambrosio's writing, this enthusiasm should come as no surprise. His work is exacting and emotionally generous, often as funny as it is devastating. Loitering gathers those eleven original essays with new and previously uncollected work so that a broader audience might discover one of our great living essayists. No matter his subject - Native American whaling, a Pentecostal "hell house," Mary Kay Letourneau, the work of J. D. Salinger, or, most often, his own family - D'Ambrosio approaches each piece with a singular voice and point of view; each essay, while unique and surprising, is unmistakably his own"--
Publisher: Portland, Oregon : Tin House Books, 2014
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781935639879
Branch Call Number: 814.54 D181L 2014
Characteristics: 358 pages ; 19 cm


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IndyPL_AdamT Jan 22, 2019

The humor and intellect found in D’Ambrosio’s essays is reminiscent of the work of Martin Amis in The Moronic Inferno and of David Foster Wallace’s best non-fiction pieces. All three of these authors observe and report on contemporary life with keen eyes and impressive prose. However, D’Ambrosio’s work tends to be more personal and contemplative in nature.

Sep 24, 2017

It's not often that I finish a book with the foremost impression 'Wow, this author is really smart'. Perhaps I haven't read enough literary criticism, or maybe D'Ambrosio really is outstanding. As I edited the audio for the WA Talking Book & Braille Library, the small sections I read made a deep impression, promoting a full read. This has only happened a few times in the 2+ years I've volunteered there. While dense, the essays are moving.

Sep 08, 2017

I found the first two sections much more interesting than the last one, which contains essays on the "reading life ". I like D'Ambrosio better when he talks about his family and the Pacific Northwest.

Oct 10, 2015

Had never heard of D'Ambrosio and I am blown away by the his book of essays - they are vivid, fresh, personal & revealing from a man with real character and fresh insights into America &life. Some are laugh out loud funny and others poignant . He is consistently original. This is one book I am considering gifting many in my life , who also appreciate the road less written about in books , but traveled by many of us,

Dec 13, 2014

"A good essay seemed to question itself in a way that a novel or short story did not--or perhaps it was simply that the personal essay left its questions on the page. . ."
Erstwhile Northwesterner (he now teaches in Iowa) Charles D'Ambrosio delivers the best collection of essays in years with "Loitering," which is a reissue and expansion of his acclaimed, but relatively obscure "Orphans." D'Ambrosio, like many good essayists, takes a wide range of subjects (his own family, a Christian "hell house," J.D. Salinger, 9/11, the Mary Kay Letourneu) and and explores them with with wit, insight, and a a compelling, original voice. Portland's Tin House did a lovely job packaging this.


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