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Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz is named a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry! Learn more.

I Just Lately Started Buying Wings

Missives from the Other Side of Silence
Kim Dana Kupperman
I'm preoccupied with how the practice of secret-keeping begins, with putting my finger on the origin of behavior as easily as I might touch a map to locate a town or a river. Perhaps pinpointing these intersections--of time and geography, the movement of ordinary lives along those continuums--will help reshape a memory fractured by omissions.

Kim Dana Kupperman's essays plumb the emotional and spiritual depths of a transitory life. Her episodic 'missives' cover territory from the chaos of a frenetic childhood to love affairs, failed and otherwise, to the Chernobyl nuclear accident, to an ocean-crossing search for her family's Eastern European roots. In confident, lyrical prose, Kupperman leads the reader through a winding gallery--a collection of still lifes and portraits, landscapes of loneliness and love.

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A finely crafted debut, winner of the 2009 Bakeless Nonfiction Prize

About the Author

Kim Dana Kupperman
Credit: Bill Dowling
Kim Dana Kupperman is the author of I Just Lately Started Buying Wings, and was the recipient of the 2009 Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize in Nonfiction, selected by Sue Halpern and awarded by the Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work has appeared in many literary periodicals, including Best American Essays, Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, River Teeth, and others. She is the founder of Welcome Table Press, a nonprofit independent press dedicated to publishing and celebrating the essay. She lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and New York City with her husband, Dustin Beall Smith.
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  • “This essay collection is preoccupied with the dead, but it also sheds light on the living. . . . Glimpses of Kupperman’s mourning can be as darkly comic as they are deeply intimate. . . . The resulting meditations can be unexpectedly lovely.”—The New York Times Book Review
  • “On one level these ‘missives’ are about autobiography. But on another they are about language — prose with the rigor and beauty of verse. The darkest passages of the author’s life gleam with a paradoxical luminosity: A childhood scarred by addiction, neglect, divorce. Love affairs glimpsed at their ending. Even the stories of abused women Kupperman counseled at a shelter are meticulously polished to a belle-lettristic sheen.”—The Boston Globe
  • “At her best, Kupperman makes sense only where there is sense to be made, and keeps a keen eye on all sides of a story as if, as she says in the opening essay, she’s ‘anchored to all things, yet hovering above the world.’”—Time Out Chicago
  • “Kim Dana Kupperman’s collection of essays, I Just Lately Started Buying Wings, you read for the sentences. Shimmering, dancing sentences that carry a fierce weight. . . . Kupperman is a poetic and precise writer of prose, able to see and convey details with a nimble touch of emotion and concreteness. The best essays in the book … marry the graceful rhythm of her prose to the tangible and often difficult realities of her experience.”—Pop Matters


This book is made possible, in part, through the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize, awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference of Middlebury College in support of emerging writers, and by the generosity of Graywolf Press donors like you.
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