A memoir of spiritualism and self-discovery from the acclaimed, award-winning author
At fifty, Alix Kates Shulman, author of the celebrated feminist novel, Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, left a city life dense with political activism, family and literary community, and went to live alone on an island off the coast of Maine. On a windswept beach, in a cabin with no plumbing, power, or telephone, she found that she was learning to live all over again.
In this luminous, spirited book, she charts her subsequent path as she learned not simply the joys of meditative solitude, but to integrate her new awareness into a busy, committed, even hectic mainland life.
“A ten-year voyage of discovery . . . Shulman's honesty and sense of inquiry carry us with her all the way--could even, if we were willing, change our lives.” —San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle
In an elegant text, Shulman (Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen) describes the results of her abrupt decision, at the age of 50, to spend summers in a crude cabin on an island off the Maine coast. Her aim was to leave behind a hectic life in New York City--``waste; consumption; conflict; politics''--and a crumbling marriage: ``Though we were yoked together for decades, I feel as threatened as if he were the hacker.'' In their place she seeks to discover ``who I am when the tide runs out.'' She means this quite literally; during 10 years spent living in an isolated house with no plumbing or electricity, Shulman let the rough beach beyond her door become her physical and intellectual sustenance. The potential for sentimentality is undercut by Shulman's evocative, witty and subtle prose and by her rueful awareness of civilization's assault on the fragile environment. 25,000 first printing
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I read this book years ago and have purchased and shared numerous copies with friends. Loved it beginning to end, really touched my core