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Cover for Essays from the Nick of Time

Essays from the Nick of Time

Reflections and Refutations

Mark Slouka


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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.

Graywolf Press, 9781555975715, 208pp.

Publication Date: October 26, 2010

About the Author

Mark Slouka is the author of a collection of stories, Lost Lake; a book of nonfiction, War of the Worlds; and two novels, God’s Fool and The Visible World. He is a contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine and teaches at the University of Chicago.