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The Presence of Absence (Hardcover)

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The Presence of Absence By Simon Van Booy Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

I am in awe of the magic an author performs when they create a big book in the guise of a smaller one. Van Booy masterfully takes someone else’s words and alchemizes them into this beautiful spare offering—a sculptor carving away stone. Right from the very first page you feel a deep connection and at the end there is a profound sense of loss knowing that your time together is over. But as with a physical absence, this one stays with you like a quiet companion. Possibly shaping the way you move through each day, giving you a chance to see the word around you anew.  -Beth

— From Beth's Picks


"Flows with depth and power....wide-open wonder."--Washington Post

As a writer lies dying, he has one last story to tell: a tale of faith and devotion, a meditation on what lies beyond this life, and a prayer of gratitude that may lead to rebirth. This is Simon Van Booy at his visionary best.

"Language is a map leading to a place not on the map," announces a young writer lying in a hospital bed at the beginning of The Presence of Absence. As he contemplates his impending physical disappearance and the impact on his beloved wife, he realizes, "Life doesn't start when you're born . . . it begins when you commit yourself to the eventual devastating loss that results from connecting to another person."

Infused with poetic clarity and graced with humor, Simon Van Booy's innovative novella asks the reader to find beauty--even gratitude--in the cycle of birth and death. Stripped of artifice, The Presence of Absence is a meditation between the writer and the reader, an imaginative work that challenges the deceit of written words and explores our strongest emotions.

Simon Van Booy is not only a master storyteller but a writer whose fiction is rich with philosophical insights into things both mapped and undiscovered. The Presence of Absence parts the darkness to reveal what has been just out of sight all along.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781567927443
ISBN-10: 1567927440
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Publication Date: November 1st, 2022
Pages: 184
Language: English

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