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My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge

by Paul Guest

My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge is a fierce and original collection-its generosity of voice and emotional range announce the arrival of a major new poet. At the age of twelve, Paul Guest suffered a bicycle accident that left him paralyzed for life. But out of sudden disaster evolved a fierce poetic sensibility-one that blossomed into a refuge for all the grief, fury, and wonder at life forever altered. Although its legacy lies in tragedy, the voice of these brilliant poems cuts a broad swath of emotions: whether he is lamenting the potentiality of physical experience or imagining the electric temptations of sexuality, Guest offers us a worldview that is unshakable in its humanity.

One More Theory About Happiness

by Paul Guest

Paul Guest was twelve years old, racing down a hill on a too big, ancient bicycle, when he discovered he had no brakes. Steering into anything that would slow down the bike, he hit a ditch, was thrown over the handlebars, and broke his neck. One More Theory About Happiness follows a boy into manhood, from the harrowing days immediately after his accident to his adult life as a teacher, award-winning poet, and soon-to-be husband. With wit, courage, and an unstoppable drive to live a life of his own creation-stemming in part from his remarkable parents, who insisted he return to school only days after arriving home from the hospital-Paul makes peace with his paralysis. As he grows older, he transforms it with his art, cultivating his lifelong gift for language into a searing poetic sensibility that has earned him praise from the highest ranks of American letters ("Wonderful"- John Ashbery; "Astonishing"-Jorie Graham; "Fierce and unnerving"-Robert Hass). An unforgettable story-shatteringly funny, deeply moving, and breathtakingly honest-One More Theory About Happiness takes us from a body irrevocably changed to a life fiercely cherished.

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