Unpleasantries: Considerations of Difficult Questions

Hardcover | May 4, 2016

byFrank Soos

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Even from upside-down in his recently flipped truck, Frank Soos reveals himself to be ruminative, grappling with the limitations of language to express the human condition. Moving quickly—skiing in the dark or taking long summer bike rides on Alaska highways—Soos combines an active physical life with a dark and difficult interior existence, wrestling the full span of "thinking and doing" onto the page with surprising lightness. His meditations move from fly-fishing in dangerously swift Alaska rivers to memories of the liars and dirty-joke tellers of his small-town Virginia childhood, revealing insights in new encounters and old preoccupations. Soos writes about pain and despair, aging, his divorce, his father’s passing, regret, the loss of home, and the fear of death. But in the process of confronting these dark topics, he is full of wonder. As he writes at the end of an account of almost drowning, "Bruised but whole, I was alive, alive, alive."

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Even from upside-down in his recently flipped truck, Frank Soos reveals himself to be ruminative, grappling with the limitations of language to express the human condition. Moving quickly—skiing in the dark or taking long summer bike rides on Alaska highways—Soos combines an active physical life with a dark and difficult interior exist...

Frank Soos is the Alaska State Writer Laureate, 2015–2016. He taught writing at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, from 1986 until 2004. His publications include Double Moon: Constructions and Conversations (with Margo Klass), Bamboo Fly Rod Suite (essays), and Unified Field Theory (stories).

other books by Frank Soos

Bamboo Fly Rod Suite: Reflections on Fishing and the Geography of Grace
Bamboo Fly Rod Suite: Reflections on Fishing and the Ge...

Paperback|Mar 1 2006

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Unified Field Theory: Stories
Unified Field Theory: Stories

Paperback|Mar 15 2010

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Double Moon
Double Moon

Paperback|Apr 1 2009

$23.09 online$25.95list price(save 11%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:May 4, 2016Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295998407

ISBN - 13:9780295998404

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Frank Soos has written a playful and profound inquiry into the incurable condition of being human. At times I fancied I was reading the great essayist Montaigne­--if Montaigne had grown up in Appalachia, played basketball for Pocahontas High, moved to Alaska, and taken up cross-country skiing. These essays dazzle with wry truths as Soos invokes everyone from Cézanne to Zippy the Pinhead to sort out life’s absurd mysteries. The result is a sideways memoir of a man in perpetual motion, ever keen to understand the extraordinary surprises and melancholy inevitabilities of our ordinary lives. - Sherry Simpson, author of The Way Winter Comes