June 22nd, 2018
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THE FIRST TIME AT FIRELIGHT FALLS

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She Read to Us in The Late Afternoons
Kathleen Hill

This memoir takes readers around the world, from New York to Nigeria, exploring a life illuminated by novels.

Delphinium
November 2017
On Sale: October 24, 2017
225 pages
ISBN: 1883285720
EAN: 9781883285722
Kindle: B074VR2GRR
Hardcover / e-Book
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Non-Fiction Memoir

As a child in music class, Kathleen Hill comes upon Willa Catherís Lucy Gayheart, and the novel prepares her for a drowning death that soon occurs in her own life. Later, recently married and working as a teacher in a newly independent Nigeria, Hill assigns Chinua Achebeís Things Fall Apart to her students, which leads to learning from them about the violent legacy of colonialism, and visiting an old slave port whose disturbing relics make her aware of her benighted American innocence. Also in Nigeria, she is given Henry Jamesís A Portrait of a Lady and deeply ponders her new marriage through the lens of Isabel Archer, remembering her adolescent fear that reading might be a way of avoiding experience. But is it possible that the act of reading itself may be a form of ardent, transforming experience? In this memoir, Hill reflects on her literary lifetime, reminiscing about her year in northern France, where she resolutely put Flaubertís Madame Bovary aside to discover, in Bernanosís Diary of a Country Priest, a detailed guide to the town where she was living, a more acute perspective on the poverty and suffering hidden within its walls. She also shares a tender account of her friendship with writer Diana Trilling, whose failing sight inspired a plan to read aloud Proustís Remembrance of Things Past, an undertaking that required six years to complete. From an author whose novel Still Waters in Niger was named a New York Times Notable Book and a best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times, She Read to Us in the Late Afternoons is both a wide-ranging autobiographical journey and a deeply felt appreciation of literature and its power to reflect our immediate reality and open windows onto vast new worlds.

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