“A gripping storyteller as well as a ruminative thinker, Woiwode notes that the ‘most revealing aspect’ of memoirs is the writer’s description of how ‘one mind…moves,’ a subject he approaches with candor and precision…[This book] is harrowing and darkly beautiful, lanced with portent and gratitude. Pain is Woiwode’s core subject, and…he expiates his sorrows and offers hope in a dramatic spiritual memoir of adversity, rescue, survival, and achievement.”
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Excerpt from A STEP FROM DEATH:
The last snow lies on the buttes to the south in flat rounds like banquet plates, and as I take in a dose of the reflected brilliance—a granular haze gripping the land in a frieze of stilled perfection—my thoughts move off from the body in my arms, her, the one who returned to give birth to you two years later, and settle on you, as I now know the thoughts and prayers of my father settle on me at the beginning and all of the way through the membranous reality we know as life and came down hard on that eternal reality that takes the best and worst of us for good, death.