- 209,00 kr
From New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl comes an unusual, captivating portrait of a family—and of the cycles of joy and grief that inscribe human lives within the natural world.
Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents—her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father—and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver.
And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds—the natural one and our own—“the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love’s own twin.”
Gorgeously illustrated by the author’s brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.
In this magnificent debut, essayist Renkl interweaves the natural world of her backyard in Nashville with memories of her childhood and family members. A poetic storyteller, Renkl captures the essence of the moments that shape and haunt her ("The seasons... tell me to wake up, to remember that every passing moment of every careening day is... the only instant I will ever take that precise breath"). She writes of her bungled attempts to stay focused on college amid desperate homesickness, and, later in life, dealing with the illnesses of grandparents as they got older, raising her children and watching them grow, and going through the heart-wrenching farewells to her parents at their deaths. These vignettes are interspersed with her close inspection of and affinity with the birds, bugs, and butterflies in her garden (she contemplates "the full-body embrace of bumblebees in the milkweed flowers, the first dance of the newlyweds"). Renkl instructs that even amid life's most devastating moments, there are reasons for hope and celebration ("darkness almost always harbors some bit of goodness tucked out of sight, waiting for an unexpected light to shine"). Readers will savor each page and the many gems of wisdom they contain.