Essays from the Nick of Time

Essays from the Nick of Time Cover

Essays from the Nick of Time

Reflections and Refutations

By Mark Slouka

Graywolf Press, Paperback, 9781555975715, 181pp.

Publication Date: October 26, 2010

Description

A new collection of prophetic essays from one of the sharpest practitioners of the form

Mark Slouka writes from a particular vantage point, one invoked by Thoreau, who wished "to improve the nick of time . . . to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future." At this bewildering convergence, Slouka asks us to consider what it means to be human and what we must revive, or reject, in order to retain our humanity in the modern world.

Collected over fifteen years, these essays include fascinating explorations of the relationship between memory and history and the nature of "tragedy" in a media-driven culture; meditations on the transcendent "wisdom" of the natural world and the role of silence in an age of noise; and arguments in defense of the political value of leisure time and the importance of the humanities in an age defined by the language of science and industry. Written in Slouka's supple and unerring prose, celebratory, critical, and passionate, "Essays from the Nick of Time "reawakens us to the moment and place in which we find ourselves, caught between the fading presence of the past and the neon lure of the future.



About the Author
Mark Slouka is the child of Czech immigrants himself, and draws on his personal experience and the inevitable intrusions of the past on the present. He is the author of the novel God s Fool, named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, the short story collection Lost Lake, a New York Times Notable Book in 1998, and the nonfiction work War of the Worlds. Three of his essays have been selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays, and his short story The Woodcarvers Tale won the National Magazine Award for fiction. He is a contributing editor at Harper s Magazine, and is currently the director for the writing program at the University of Chicago.