The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon by Philip GrahamThe Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon by Philip Graham

The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon

byPhilip Graham

Paperback | November 15, 2009

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A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.

In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeney’s, an exuberant yet introspective account of a year’s sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and knowing; though he’s unquestionably not a tourist, at the same time he knows he will never be a local. So his lyrical accounts reveal his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an awkward meeting with Nobel laureate José Saramago, being trapped in a budding soccer riot, and his daughter’s challenging transition to adolescence while attending a Portuguese school—but he also waxes loving about Portugal’s saudade-drenched music, its inventive cuisine, and its vibrant literary culture. And through his humorous, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to know Graham himself, and his wife and daughter, so that when an unexpected crisis hits his family, we can’t help but ache alongside them.

A thoughtful, finely wrought celebration of the moment-to-moment excitement of diving deep into another culture and confronting one’s secret selves, The Moon, Come to Earth is literary travel writing of a rare intimacy and immediacy.

Philip Graham is the author of two short story collections, The Art of theKnock and Interior Design, and a novel, How to Read an Unwritten Language, and is the coauthor of a memoir of Africa, Parallel Worlds, winner of the Victor Turner Prize.  He teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the Vermont College of Fine ...
Title:The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from LisbonFormat:PaperbackDimensions:168 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.4 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226305155

ISBN - 13:9780226305158

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Table of Contents


I Don’t Know Why I Love Lisbon

So Who Says Objects Are Inanimate?

365 Days of Pork Surprise

Alchemy: From a Rube to a Local

Bread, Bread; Cheese, Cheese

Let’s Throw a Festival!

Isn’t There a Law against Filching Calçadas?

The Moon, Come to Earth

Those Tricky Subgestures

Nearly the Same Substance

Go, Whatchamacallits!

Chama-me Ismail

Another History Lesson

We Capture the Castle


Light for Light  

Este espectáculo cruél

Three Churches

Particle and Wave

Fairly Medieval

Goodbye, Good Luck

Sip by Sip

On This Side of the Ocean


End Notes


Sources of Literature Quoted

Editorial Reviews

"The wonderful collected memoir . . . The Moon, Come to Earth lifted me up from my humdrum life and transplanted me into the Graham family’s Lisbon adventure. It was a day-to-day adventure, full of the familiar, full of new routines and small struggles. It was a bit sad to leave it all, a bit of saudade creeping into my own life."