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Long Life: Essays And Other Writings Hardcover – March 16, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 328 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for her poetry, Oliver also writes exquisitely lucid prose. Here, in her most generously personal essays to date, she articulates the beliefs, observations, and inspirations that feed her poetry as she contemplates the majestic beauty of the earth and its splendid creatures, including humankind. Oliver ponders death and remembrance, marvels over the unexpected boon of an old town dump, considers the indelible impression left by childhood revelations of the power and mystery of nature, and reveals her literary legacy in a set of sterling tributes to Wordsworth, Emerson, and Hawthorne. And, finally, this essential American poet literally brings it all home in a radiant reflection on the crucial "connection between soul and landscape." Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Mary Oliver's imagery, as usual, is fresh as mint and always delivers something worthwhile to savor." -- Spirituality & Health April 2004

"The lightness, the airiness of [Oliver's] sheer delight in life curls around paragraphs and prose poems like disappearing fog." --
Los Angeles Times 04/04/04

"[Oliver's] most generously personal essays to date...[An] essential American poet." --
Booklist 03/15/04

"[Oliver's] poems are little gems, sometimes perfect encapsulations of small experiences...Elegant, lovely words of fine sensibility." --
Infodad.com April 2004
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Da Capo Press; F First Edition Used (March 16, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 120 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0306809958
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0306809958
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.75 x 0.5 x 8.75 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 328 ratings

About the author

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A private person by nature, Mary Oliver has given very few interviews over the years. Instead, she prefers to let her work speak for itself. And speak it has, for the past five decades, to countless readers. The New York Times recently acknowledged Mary Oliver as "far and away, this country's best-selling poet." Born in a small town in Ohio, Oliver published her first book of poetry in 1963 at the age of 28; No Voyage and Other Poems, originally printed in the UK by Dent Press, was reissued in the United States in 1965 by Houghton Mifflin. Oliver has since published many works of poetry and prose. As a young woman, Oliver studied at Ohio State University and Vassar College, but took no degree. She lived for several years at the home of Edna St. Vincent Millay in upper New York state, companion to the poet's sister Norma Millay. It was there, in the late '50s, that she met photographer Molly Malone Cook. For more than forty years, Cook and Oliver made their home together, largely in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they lived until Cook's death in 2005. Over the course of her long and illustrious career, Oliver has received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. She has also received the Shelley Memorial Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award; the Christopher Award and the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light; the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems; a Lannan Foundation Literary Award; and the New England Booksellers Association Award for Literary Excellence. Oliver's essays have appeared in Best American Essays 1996, 1998, 2001; the Anchor Essay Annual 1998, as well as Orion, Onearth and other periodicals. Oliver was editor of Best American Essays 2009. Oliver's books on the craft of poetry, A Poetry Handbook and Rules for the Dance, are used widely in writing programs. She is an acclaimed reader and has read in practically every state as well as other countries. She has led workshops at various colleges and universities, and held residencies at Case Western Reserve University, Bucknell University, University of Cincinnati, and Sweet Briar College. From 1995, for five years, she held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from The Art Institute of Boston (1998), Dartmouth College (2007) and Tufts University (2008). Oliver currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the inspiration for much of her work.

Photo Credit: Rachel Giese Brown, 2009.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
328 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Jacqui Barnett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 19, 2017
Donald Mattson
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking me home...
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 10, 2017
Merry
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting reading
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on May 23, 2019
Meredith
5.0 out of 5 stars this series of essays is as beautiful and unpretentious as her
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 10, 2015
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but her pure poetry is preferable
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on January 30, 2017