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In Quotidiana Patrick Madden illuminates common actions and seemingly commonplace moments, making connections that revise and reconfigure the overlooked and underappreciated. Madden muses on the origins of human language, the curative properties of laughter, and the joys and woes of fatherhood. Sparked by considerations of selling garlic, washing grapes, changing a diaper, or chipping a tooth, his essays are an antidote to the harried hullabaloo of talk-show and tabloid culture—and a reminder that we are surrounded by wonders that whisper to the curious and attentive.
Ingenuous and erudite, and with a beguiling wit, Madden examines the intricate tapestry of ordinary life in its extraordinary patterns. His book is a poetic and engaging exploration of the unexpectedly wide scope of our everyday existence.
"Words form constellations; they glitter on the pages. . . . There is a religiosity here, though not the usual kind. It's a glow on the horizon, a low light, something to think our way toward."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
— Susan Salter Reynolds
"Charming and liberating."—Robert Birnbaum, Morning News
— Robert Birnbaum
"Flutter the pages of Patrick Madden's Quotidiana, and entering it becomes irresistable. . . . At once an approachable and postmodern composition, Quotidiana presents an enthralled, reflexive mind at work. Readers will eagerly await his next thought."—Janelle Adsit, ForeWord Reviews
— Janelle Adsit
"If Madden is a prophet of the essay, if his words seem inspired by the classical masters of the form, then he is at his most inspired when he essays upon the essay."—Joey Franklin, New Letters
— Joey Franklin
"For readers who wince at the sentimentality of some creative nonfictional writing, Madden's book might be the ideal transition into the genre. Madden, who was once on a scientific path himself, not only embraces academic research, he joins it with his personal accounts, holding out his hand to readers who crave objective data."—Eric d'Evegnee, BYU Studies
— Eric d'Evegnee
"Quotidiana is a book written in the West with its eye casting outward, to the world, to us. By turns comic and sacred, Quotidiana invites us to consider our place in the West and our place in the world. This is as fine a collection of essays as I have read in recent memory."—Brandon R Schrand, Western American Literature
— Brandon R Schrand