The Wishing Year
A House, a Man, My Soul
By Noelle Oxenhandler
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812975505, 320pp.)
Publication Date: July 14, 2009
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One New Year’s Day, Noelle Oxenhandler found herself alone after a long marriage, seemingly doomed to perpetual house rental, and estranged from her spiritual community. Though she was a skeptic at heart and a practicing Buddhist, she forced herself to try the art of wishing brazenly: for a new love, a healed soul, and the 2 BR/1.5 BA of her dreams.
In this charming, compelling, and ultimately joyful book, Oxenhandler records a journey that is at once comic and poignant, light and dark, earthy and spiritual. Above all, she is amazed to find that there is, indeed, both power and danger in the act of wishing. For soon her wishes begin to come true–in ways that meet, subvert, and overflow her expectations. And what started as a year’s dare turns into a way of life.
Noelle Oxenhandler is the author of two previous nonfiction books, A Grief Out of Season and The Eros of Parenthood. Her essays have appeared in many national and literary magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Vogue, Tricycle, Parabola, Utne Reader, and O: The Oprah Magazine. She has taught in the graduate writing program at Sarah Lawrence College and is a member of the creative writing faculty at Sonoma State University in California. A practicing Buddhist for more than thirty years, Oxenhandler is the mother of a grown daughter and lives in Northern California.
“Inspiring . . . fascinating . . . Similar in style to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, The Wishing Year offers a thoughtful approach to the notion that we can create change simply by signifying our intent.”—Sunday Oregonian
“Readers will enjoy watching Oxenhandler realize her dreams through diligence, hard work and a ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ in the captivating magic of wishing.”—Publishers Weekly
“[Oxenhandler] mines her quotidian ups and downs during a twelve-month period with the exacting honesty and hopefulness of a Buddhist Anne Lamott. . . . [An] endearing combination of meticulous research and winsome enthusiasm.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Recommended . . . joyful and humorous reading.”—Library Journal