An Earlier Life
How many lives do we create in one lifetime? In her latest collection of innovative, shape-shifting essays, Brenda Miller evolves through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood to enter the wry maturity of middle age. Whether traveling from synagogue to sweat lodge, from the Arizona desert to a communal hot springs…
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“In an earlier life,” Miller writes, “I was a baker, in a bakery on a cobblestoned street.” It takes Miller just one single paragraph to tell this whole tale—how she proofed yeast, how she scraped her spoon, how she made loaves for children: “It was my only kindness.” In every successive chapter—most all of them short, many of them formally inventive—Miller deconstructs her life and soul—the roots of her unease, the startling incidents of loss, her learning to sleep, and her learning to live with the person she becomes. Miller is a stellar choreographer, knowing just where to place which…
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