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Monday, June 7, 2010

One More Theory About Happiness: A Memoir

Author:  Paul Guest
Publication Date:  May 2010
Publisher:  Ecco

Paul Guest was 12 years old, racing down a hill on a too-big, ancient bicycle when he discovered he had no brakes. Trying to steer into anything that would slow down the bike, he hit a ditch, was thrown over the handlebars, and broke his neck.

One More Theory about Happiness follows a boy into manhood, his path suddenly circumscribed by disability and its attendant complications: rage and despair, as well as a hard-earned acceptance and biting sense of humor. In incisive and lyrical prose, he captures the seesaw of setbacks and successes that define his life: His arms and hands completely useless, Paul initially learns to drive a “sip and puff” wheelchair by means of his breath; he later uses a mouthstick to type. Alone in an elevator with a stranger, he’s mugged, helpless to fight back. One caretaker packs Paul’s fridge with the Pepsi his wife forbids at home and declares he can cure Paul’s injured ankle by setting him on fire. And when desire leads to a long-awaited intimacy, it is an experience more complex and bittersweet than he ever would have imagined.

Yet with each challenge, Paul thrives. Completing high school, leaving his family behind to attend college then graduate school, Guest cultivates a rich life for himself. He also cultivates his art, transforming his gift for language into award-winning poetry—deemed “wonderful,” by John Ashbery; “Guest is a spirit to be reckoned with,” proclaims Mary Karr—marked by raw wit, grace, and unnerving honesty.

An unprecedented story, a unique fusion of the deeply-felt prose of Joan Didion or Lucy Grealy with the irreverent edge of Nick Flynn or Dave Eggers, Guest’s memoir takes us from a body irrevocably changed to a life fiercely cherished. 

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Tour Participants

1.  Betty  -- mailed 7/29/10 DC # 0309 3220 0002 3278 9446




Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

Betty (TN)
bmcbroom AT gmail DOT com

Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

Received today.

Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

Mailed One more theory about happiness today 7/29
DC 0309 3220 0002 3278 9446

Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

review at

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