Made Holy

Essays

Title Details

Pages: 200

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 09/01/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5599-3

List Price: $24.95

Made Holy

Essays

Skip to

  • Description
  • Reviews

In haunting prose that will follow you for days to come, Made Holy tells the story of the American family. Love, loss, and addiction entwine in this moving debut collection. Emily Arnason Casey employs the lyric imagination to probe memory and the ever-shifting lens of time as she seeks to make sense of the disease that haunts her maternal family tree and the alchemy of loss and longing.

The lakes of her childhood in Minnesota form the interior landscape of this book, a kind of watery nostalgia for something just beyond her reach. "I know this feeling," she writes. "We travel along the surface of time and then suddenly the layers give way and we are in another year, another body, another place."

Casey's willingness to honestly examine the past and present with contemplative lyricism offers fresh perspective and new understanding. In electric moments that are utterly relatable, she weaves a tale of love and commitment to the truth of her experience despite the incredible desire to keep alive a legacy of secrets. Like the mullein plant she invokes in the final essay, these essays form a kind of "guardian to the lost."

Each [essay] is an intricate, layered masterwork of observations and reflections, baring intimate aspects of Casey's being and braiding events, emotions, scenes, and concepts together with lustrous and controlled prose. Personal existence yokes to nature and the outdoors, including the woodlands of Minnesota and of Burlington, Vermont, and the collection brims with gorgeous descriptions of flora and settings. The effect is mesmerizing. . . . Contemplative and lyrical, Made Holy is a powerful personal essay collection.

—Amy O'Loughlin, Foreword Reviews, starred review

The essays in Emily Arnason Casey's Made Holy are ripe with imagery, lyricism, and honest reflection. Traversing the landscape of memory, her childhood in Minnesota, her family's history of illness and addiction, her journey into adulthood and motherhood, Casey leads readers into the blue rooms of loss and the open spaces of the natural world around her. Individually these essays contain their own light and shadow, as a collection, they coalesce as eulogy, an homage to the complexities of time, memory, and the nature of human experience. Casey's prose is rich with nuance and wonder and reveals her rare ability to both interrogate and nurture longing. This book is as much a prayer for the fractured as it is a meditation on the sacred.

—Jericho Parms, author of Lost Wax

The essays in Emily Arneson Casey's Made Holy read like so many intimate conversations. Or confessions. Or exultations. Whether the subject is loss, addiction, regret, or hope, she is unflinching and wise and gentle. I'll reread this book over and over in the same way and for the same reasons I read Mary Oliver and Marilynne Robinson.

—Peter Geye, author of Wintering

About the Author/Editor

EMILY ARNASON CASEY is a faculty member at the Community College of Vermont. Her work has been published in Hotel Amerika, American Literary Review, the Normal School, and other journals.