On Leave

On Leave : A book of anecdotes

4.5 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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A book of and about literary anecdotes, On Leave presents passing observations concerning the anecdote in a modular prose that tracks the events of a year on leave. Its cast of characters includes avant-garde poets, students, friends, family, and strangers encountered on travels in a year away from university work. Fragments of conversation with Bernadette Mayer, Tom Raworth, Trevor Joyce, John Wilkinson, Harryette Mullen, and many others lead onto informal commentary about poems by these authors and other observations about the reading and culture of poetry, all offered in the form of daybook notation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 12mm | 222.26g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • No
  • 1844714861
  • 9781844714865
  • 2,088,509

Table of contents

One Thing After Another, Or, Quitting Taffety for Cloth
Shooting the Air
From Chicago
to Buffalo
Being and Time
Of God, Man,
and Animals
Out of Line
Of the Avant-Garde and Its Others
Puerto Vallarta
More Callers
From Orono to Yellow Springs
Les Anecdotiques
All in the Family
On the Road
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Review quote

What a bad title for such a good-and, paradoxically, ambitious-book: though it presents itself as a low-pressure journal, the inconsequential deeds and recollections of a senior professor in a sabbatical year, On Leave unfolds to reveal a meditation on the anecdote as a form; an elegant sketch of grief, and of partial recovery; a calm revolt against the conventions of one-point-in-front-of-another, stiffly ineffective, argument about modern poetry; and (best of all) an amenable introduction to the sometimes prickly, too often unapproachable "avant-garde" (or, if you prefer, "post-avant") poets in Britain, Ireland, and America, among whom Tuma has made his lit-crit career. -- Stephen Burt * Rain Taxi * Poet and critic Keith Tuma spent part of a leave from teaching writing up remembered anecdotes in the context of the year's travel and rumination. Mainly dealing with encounters involving poets, the book makes itself companionable by often being very funny. Tuma is, as Randolph Healy writes, "one of nature's most agreeable raconteurs." Great beach reading for the summer. But there should be a warning on the cover: Take care, you will be stuck repeating some of these stories for the rest of your life. * Notre Dame Review *
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About Keith Tuma

Keith Tuma is the author of Fishing by Obstinate Isles: Modern and Postmodern British Poetry and American Readers (Northwestern, 1998) and editor of Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry (Oxford, 2001). He teaches at Miami University in Ohio.
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Rating details

6 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 67% (4)
4 17% (1)
3 17% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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