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Bright Precious Thing: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

I have long loved Gail Caldwell's memoirs and with this lovely new gem my admiration increases. Caldwell writes with heart, intelligence, passion and humour. Reading a Caldwell book feels like sitting with a friend over a cup of tea. She writes seamlessly about  rowing, swimming and dogs and always in the context of her own past and present. The winner of a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, Gail Caldwell discusses her days in College in the 60's, the 2016 election and the Me Too movement as well as what being a woman in today's world means to her. To quote her "At some point you shuffle the cards and call the deck a life". This is a life I would love to be able to read for many more years.

— From Penny's Picks


From the New York Times bestselling author of Let’s Take the Long Way Home comes a moving memoir about how the women’s movement revolutionized and saved her life, from the 1960s to the #MeToo era.

In a voice as candid as it is evocative, Gail Caldwell traces a path from her west Texas girlhood through her emergence as a young daredevil, then as a feminist—a journey that reflected seismic shifts in the culture itself. Caldwell’s travels took her to California and Mexico and dark country roads, and the dangers she encountered were rivaled only by the personal demons she faced. Bright Precious Thing is the captivating story of a woman’s odyssey, her search for adventure giving way to something more profound: the evolution of a writer and a woman, a struggle to embrace one’s life as a precious thing.

Told against a contrasting backdrop of the present day, including the author’s friendship with a young neighborhood girl, Bright Precious Thing unfolds with the same heart and narrative grace of Caldwell’s Let’s Take the Long Way Home, called “a lovely gift to readers” by The Washington Post. Bright Precious Thing is a book about finding, then protecting, what we cherish most.

About the Author

Gail Caldwell is the former chief book critic for The Boston Globe, where she was a staff writer for more than twenty years. In 2001, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. She is the author of three previous memoirs and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Praise For…

“Reading Caldwell is like sitting down over tea and cookies with a close friend, only to realize several hours later that together you've devoured the whole plateful and dinnertime has come and gone.”NPR

“Caldwell is a charming and affable writer, proud yet self-deprecating, thoughtful and witty. Her story, while often painful, is never didactic, preachy or judgmental. . . . God willing, she will write to us again.”—Star Tribune 

“Deeply affecting.”Goop

“She’s just a great memoirist and storyteller.”—

“Caldwell’s writing, as always, is lush and lyrical, her honesty both captivating and refreshing, qualities that shine anew with a fierce and vibrant luminescence.”Booklist (starred review)

“A glistening reflection on how the women’s movement profoundly influenced the Pulitzer Prize winner’s life . . . Caldwell’s fourth memoir sings. It’s a song for the ages, but it sounds especially resonant in the #MeToo era.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525510055
ISBN-10: 0525510052
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: July 7th, 2020
Pages: 208
Language: English