Author(s): Charles D'Ambrosio
Charles D'Ambrosio's essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have pressed it upon their friends, students, and colleagues, only to find themselves begging for their copy's safe return. For anyone familiar with D'Ambrosio's writing, this enthusiasm should come as no surprise. His work is exacting and emotionally generous, often as funny as it is devastating. Loitering gathers those eleven original essays with new and previously uncollected work so that a broader audience might discover one of the world's great living essayists. No matter his subject - Native American whaling, a Pentecostal 'hell house', Mary Kay Letourneau, the work of J. D. Salinger, or, most often, his own family - D'Ambrosio approaches each piece with a singular voice and point of view; each essay, while unique and surprising, is unmistakably his own.
* Wide review coverage in broadsheet newspapers * Extract to be placed online on websites such as the Guardian Australia and the Conversation * Review coverage in literary magazines and online * Radio review coverage in Australia and New Zealand * Featured in Text newsletters and website
'This powerful collection highlights D'Ambrosio's ability to mine his personal history for painful truths about the frailty of family and the strange quest to understand oneself, and in turn, be understood.' Publishers Weekly 'Charles D'Ambrosio's essays are excitingly good. They are relevant in the way that makes you read them out loud, to anyone who happens to be around. Absolutely accessible and incredibly intelligent, his work is an astounding relief-as though someone is finally trying to puzzle all the disparate, desperate pieces of the world together again.' Jill Owens, Powell's 'D'Ambrosio spins out descriptive lines or dialogue strong enough to lift the entire edifice of a story with a shudder.' Chicago Tribune on The Dead Fish Museum 'By turns witty, scathing, and elegiac, his exacting essays are exceptionally vital quests for meaning, and Seattle-based D'Ambrosio chooses his loaded subjects well, writing with nerve and rigor, for instance, about the controversy over Native American whaling and teacher and convicted sex-offender Mary Kay Letourneau. D'Ambrosio's kinetic and evocative works reach to the very core of being and induce readers to question their every assumption.' Booklist on Orphans 'D'Ambrosio, who should be ranked up near Carver and Jones on the top tier of contemporary practitioners of the short story, manages to channel Carver's deftly elliptical manner and Jones' wounded machismo. Yet in this collection he marks out his own territory, using only the most steadfast and difficult of a writer's tools-craft and character-and his own marvelously skewed lens.' Los Angeles Times Book Review
Charles D'Ambrosio is the author of two collections of short stories, The Point (a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award) and The Dead Fish Museum (a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award), as well as the essay collection Orphans. His work has appeared frequently in the New Yorker, as well as in Tin House, the Paris Review, Zoetrope All-Story, A Public Space, and Story. D'Ambrosio has been the recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and a USA Rasmuson Fellowship. He lives in Portland, Oregon.