The Exit Is the Entrance
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The Exit Is the Entrance

Essays on Escape

Title Details

Pages: 217

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 09/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6733-0

List Price: $24.95

eBook

Pub Date: 09/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6735-4

List Price: $24.95

eBook

Pub Date: 09/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6734-7

List Price: $24.95

The Exit Is the Entrance

Essays on Escape

Lyrical snapshots of friendship, violence, love, and longing in working-class America

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Lydia Paar joined the American workforce at age fourteen, holding a wide variety of jobs (twenty-seven, at last count) between then and now, across twenty-five different homes in eight states. The essays in this collection explore her attempts to evade or transform the lower-middle class American experience across various cityscapes, towns, deserts, and in-between places. As she moves through these spaces, she seeks peace, connection, and freedom: from the hip streets of Portland to desolate deserts, Army basic training to cross-country bus trips, to eerie St. Louis funeral homes, and more.

Each essay interrogates the interior emotional work that accompanies such grappling: labors of love and friendship, of learning, of motion, of maintenance, and of finding faith in potential for positive change. Across a range of interior and exterior landscapes, Paar meditates on subcultures, agendas, violences, alliances, and the intersection of the natural world with our human endeavors. Ultimately, she considers how what we try to transform so often transforms us.

A necessary book for the moment as well as a pleasure to read and enjoy as an example of fine writing. It is a document that documents and a moving sculptural artwork that moves and moves on the subject of ceaseless motion. This reads as a new memoir of the age.

—Michael Martone, author of Table Talk and Second Thoughts: A Memoir in Prose Poems

Through rich and beautifully textured language, Paar’s The Exit Is the Entrance pulls you into tough jobs, tough armies, tough relationships, and tough cities that are infinitely fascinating but as hard to escape as deep space. Fortunately, through her knife-sharp humor, her clear-eyed perspective, and deep intelligence, Paar breaks us open, breaks us out into easy light.

—Nicole Walker, author of Processed Meats: Essays on Food, Flesh, and Navigating Disaster

Paar grounds her essays in place and embodied experience, varying voice to match content so as to provide a fresh and interesting perspective on threads touched upon in multiple essays in the collection. She reframes a number of familiar issues—work, desire, relationships, privilege, and lack thereof, in particular—in new and insightful ways.

—Sarah Einstein, author of Mot: A Memoir

About the Author/Editor

LYDIA PAAR is an essayist and fiction writer. An MFA recipient from Washington University and an MA recipient from Northern Arizona University, she lives in Tucson and teaches writing at the University of Arizona.