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Book Title

Essays from the Nick of Time

Reflections and Refutations
Author 1
Mark Slouka
Mark Slouka writes from a particular vantage point, one invoked by Thoreau, who wished “to improve the nick of time . . . to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future.” At this bewildering convergence, Slouka asks us to consider what it means to be human and what we must revive, or reject, in order to retain our humanity in the modern world.

Collected over fifteen years, these essays include fascinating explorations of the relationship between memory and history and the nature of “tragedy” in a media-driven culture; meditations on the transcendent “wisdom” of the natural world and the role of silence in an age of noise; and arguments in defense of the political value of leisure time and the importance of the humanities in an age defined by the language of science and industry. Written in Slouka’s supple and unerring prose, celebratory, critical, and passionate, Essays from the Nick of Time reawakens us to the moment and place in which we find ourselves, caught between the fading presence of the past and the neon lure of the future.

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A new collection of prophetic essays from one of the sharpest practitioners of the form

About the Author

Mark  Slouka
Credit: Maya Slouka
Mark Slouka is the author of Essays from the Nick of Time; a collection of stories, Lost Lake; a book of nonfiction, War of the Worlds; and two novels, God's Fool and The Visible World. He is a contributing editor to Harper's Magazine and teaches at the University of Chicago.
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  • “Every one of the essays in this collection is distinctive for its originality, its rigorous thinking and the clarity of its expression. . . . In 12 penetrating pieces, novelist and essayist Mark Slouka offers his eloquent and perspective take on aspects on contemporary American life.”—Shelf Awareness
  • “Slouka’s knack for transforming static sentences into lively debates is uncanny, as if he has somehow choreographed a two-sided conversation on the page. As a result, the reader is often left in an unstable fit of frenetic excitement, anxious to solve the riddles of the universe, but only given half the tools to do so. Slouka’s work offers little certainty, though he provides something far more valuable—fodder for our own thoughts. And while he happily leads us to the edge of epiphany, he demands that we take our own leaps.”—Pleiades
  • “To read Mark Slouka's essays is to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether he is writing about where it is between man and nature, or how it is between men and other men, he brings to the page the wisdom of a gracious mind and the affection of a generous spirit.”—Lewis Lapham
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