Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

One Long River of Song

One Long River of Song

Notes on Wonder

A playful and moving book of essays by a “born storyteller” (Seattle Times) who invites us into the miraculous and transcendent moments of the everyday

When Brian Doyle passed away at the age of sixty after a bout with brain cancer, he left behind a cult-like following of devoted readers who regard his writing as one of the best-kept secrets of the twenty-first century. Doyle writes with a delightful sense of wonder about the sanctity of everyday things, and about love and connection in all their forms: spiritual love, brotherly love, romantic love, and even the love of a nine-foot sturgeon.

At a moment when the world can sometimes feel darker than ever, Doyle’s writing, which constantly evokes the humor and even bliss that life affords, is a balm. His essays manage to find, again and again, exquisite beauty in the quotidian, whether it’s the awe of a child the first time she hears a river, or a husband’s whiskers that a grieving widow misses seeing in her sink every morning. Through Doyle’s eyes, nothing is dull.

David James Duncan sums up Doyle’s sensibilities best in his introduction to the collection: “Brian Doyle lived the pleasure of bearing daily witness to quiet glories hidden in people, places and creatures of little or no size, renown, or commercial value, and he brought inimitably playful or soaring or aching or heartfelt language to his tellings.” A life’s work, One Long River of Song invites readers to experience joy and wonder in ordinary moments that become, under Doyle’s rapturous and exuberant gaze, extraordinary.
Read More

Genre: Fiction / Literary Collections / Essays

On Sale: December 3rd 2019

Price: $27 / $34 (CAD)

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9780316492898

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reader Reviews

Praise

"The essays in One Long River of Song are truly staggering--as close as stones in our palms, and as vast as the sky. Brian Doyle's voice is full of tender pivots, keen wit, and startling joy, summoning all of us to pay more passionate attention to the world."—Leslie Jamison, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Empathy Exams and The Recovering
"A posthumous collection of stunning mystical prose...Doyle's prose is so expansive and dripping with visceral detail that even the briefest vignettes are often a wondrous adventure. This brilliant compendium of spiritual musings will resonate with people of any faith--or of none."—Kirkus (starred review)
"A generous, posthumous collection [with] the rhythm of poems and the lyricism of songs...infused with qualities of spirit, goodness, and grace. Doyle was a wonderful stylist...he is generous, almost profligate in filling his work with [love]...readers will be equally grateful for this lovely book and its beautiful contents."—Michael Cart, Booklist (starred review)
"Doyle's curiosity is insatiable and his self-described Celtic-mystic disposition spots the transcendent regularly. As much haunted by the language of James Joyce as the lessons of Jesus, Doyle sees and celebrates what happens every day in each essay of this eclectic collection. This 'best-of' should enlarge his circle of admirers."—Publishers Weekly
"Dazzling... Doyle's writing bursts with vivid descriptions...a renewed opportunity for more readers to discover the insight and humanity of his work...Doyle's brand of theology will appeal to fans of the work of writers like Anne Lamott...readers fortunate enough to discover the many pleasures of Brian Doyle's work here will be grateful, too, for that encounter."—Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness
Praise for Brian Doyle:
"Brian Doyle wrote more powerfully about faith than anyone in his generation."
Ian Frazier
"[Doyle's essays] were my favorites."
Mary Oliver
"We're in rough waters.... What we need are the old words, the ones that have lasted the longest: courage, love, reverence, justice. Whatever our metaphors, Brian, that's what the bunch of us you brought together were trying to say.... You walked in beauty, my dear friend."
Barry Lopez, in a tribute written after Brian's death
"Almost nobody has written with the joy, the galloping energy, the quiet love of conscience and family and what's best in us, the living optimism."
Pico Iyer
"Brian's writing is the attempt to stare God in the eye."
Jonathan Hiskes, Christian Century
Read More Read Less