W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393035414, 298pp.
Publication Date: November 1993
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Extra Innings continues the intense, sometimes funny, sometimes tart, and sometimes very moving account of a closely examined life begun by Doris Grumbach in her widely praised day book Coming into the End Zone. That earlier book chronicles the author's seventy-first year, a time of both struggle against and acceptance of the encroachments of old age. Extra Innings begins two years later, on the publication date of its predecessor, its author exposed to all the exquisitely mingled hopes and fears of sending a book into the world. In this case, though, each review offered Doris Grumbach not only an opinion of her book, but something of a mirror in which she could see herself as the world sees her - or her self-portrait. It proves a somewhat disorienting route to self-knowledge. And so begins another eventful year - crowded with the literary pleasures (and pains) of a life spent reading and writing; the natural beauties and social particulars of life in coastal Maine; the mingled joys and affronts of travel to New York, Washington, Mexico; and, always, the looming presence of illness and mortality, the author's own and her daughter's as well. Extra Innings is, finally, a book about the successful search for home, the end of a journey to the Cove in Sargentville, Maine, where the serene landscape to be viewed from Grumbach's study comes to match the inward landscape of memory and well-earned peace.
About the Author
Grumbach has been a literary editor of The New Republic, a nonfiction columnist for The New York Times Book Review, and a book reviewer for National Public Radio.