In this thoughtful collection of narratives, author Joel Peckham explores the transformative power of emotional and physical pain from the vantage point of a husband and parent who lost his wife and a child in an accident thatleft him in chronic distress. Along the way, he fills a need for a brutally honest literary examination of not only grief and suffering, but also of recovery. There are no heroes in these pages, and the author has consciously resisted the mythmaking impulse--that desire to honor the dead and to give tragedy purpose by telling a sad but inspirational story. Instead, the book does a great deal to counter our assumptions about grief and suffering-- assumptions that do damage both to those in pain and those who try to comfort them.
Joel Peckham is a poet, essayist, and literary scholar. He has published three other collections of poetry: "The Heat of What Comes" and "Nightwalking" from Pecan Grove Press and "Movers and Shakers" from Pudding House. His poems have appeared in many literary journals, including "The Beloit Poetry Journal," "Black Warrior Review," "Prairie Schooner," "Rattle" and "The Southern Review." In 2012, his memoir, "Resisting Elegy," appeared from Academy Chicago Publishers. Dean Monti is the author of several plays and short stories, and has had his work staged in Chicago and Norfolk, Virginia. As a journalist for a large trade magazine, he has written many feature articles, and has read his work on WBEZ, National Public Radio, in Chicago.