Born in 1925 in Beirut, ETEL ADNAN has written more than a dozen books of poetry, fiction, and essays. A two-volume collection, To look at the sea is to become what one is: An Etel Adnan Reader, was published in 2014. She is a recipient of a PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award, the California Book Award, a Lambda Book Award, and a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She lives in Paris and Sausalito, California.
"Trained in philosophy, Beirut-born author/activist Adnan blends a meditation on the meaning of memory with memories themselves, dredged up from a long life. And surely night, her setting here, is the time for such dredging. Adnan rigorously asserts that "reason and memory move together." But she argues that "a remembered event is a return to a mystery," and her writing is eye-openingly lush, gorgeous, even surreal ("waves of roses are blanketing memory"), showing us the mind at work on its unstructured, uncertain edges. The epigrammatic ending, "Conversations with my soul" ("Why are we lonelier when/ together"), will feed even those who don't typically read poetry. VERDICT A good way for sophisticated readers to recall why they first loved verse." — Library Journal