mortal distractions

Mortal DistractionsHoldstock’s essays are practice-what-you-preach models of how writers approach and perform the act of writing. She offers the reader a typical range of subjects: travel, art, relationships, writing and nature, but imbues them all with the writer’s perception of how the ordinary gets transformed into the extraordinary. For example: a mother and daughter Alaska cruise parallels the universal metaphors for change; the writer’s confrontation with the adage that there is nothing new under the sun confronts the plagiarism that haunts every writer’s psyche; the transformation of art into film and film into art energizes power of memory and the powerless photograph that captures it. Always, though, Holdstock’s pulse of the writer’s life imbues each essay with integrity and delivers each with style and eloquence.     “this collection is an excellent introduction to the workings of an intelligent writer’s mind. Holdstock, in 14 contemplative essays, realizes the universal struggle Phelps wrestled with more than a century ago trying to think, study and sleep: “The grittiness of the world rubs and scrubs away at the sublime in us, thins it out until we begin to doubt its existence. It’s the search for proof of it, this elusive condition, that is the impulse for much of our art and the depiction of the struggle for it that is the business of so many novels.”–Edmonton Journal.     •    Paperback: 207 pages     •    Publisher: Thistledown Press (2004)     •    Language: English     •    ISBN-10: 1894345665     •    ISBN-13: 978-1894345668