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A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety

Hall lived long enough to leave behind two final books, memento mori titled Essays After Eighty (2014) and now A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety.Theyre up there with the best things he did.Dwight Garner, New York Times From the former poet laureate of the United States,essays from the vantage point of very old age Donald Hall lived a remarkable life of letters, one capped most recently by the New YorkTimes bestsellerEssays After Eighty, a treasure of a book in which he balances frankness about losses with humor and gratitude (Washington Post). Before his passing in 2018, nearing ninety, Hall delivered this new collection of self-knowing, fierce, and funny essays on aging, the pleasures of solitude,and the sometimes astonishing freedoms arising from both. He interspersesmemories of exuberant daysasin Paris, 1951,with a French girl memorably inclined to say, I couldnt care lesswithwriting, visceral and hilarious, on what hehas calledthe unknown, unanticipated galaxy of extreme...

Title : A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety
Author :
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ISBN : 9781328826343
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety Reviews

  • Emilie

    Clear, crisp, unflinching. At nearly 90 years old, Donald Hall held onto the magic of his observations and to his ability to put them down in a way that startles, pleases and remains with this reader after she closed the book. Oh! to write like Donald Hall.

  • Sandy Lane

    A genuine portrayal of life lived as an aged author and poet. Real and painful to read at times when he describes the aging that is inevitable to the rest of us. Sweet and funny most other times as we wonder if he will make it to 90.

  • Eric

    I did not know who Donald Hall was before I read this. I read a review of this somewhere. It wasn't as depressing as it sounds. A lot of it was pretty funny actually. Donald Hall was the poet laureate of America about 10 years ago. He was married to Jane Kenyon who died of leukemia at 47. He talked about her a lot and also about getting older (no surprise there), poets that he had met, friends, his family, and the old farmhouse he lived in among other things. He seemed like a smart, witty guy. I ...more

  • Gidimeister

    A quirky book of scattered recollections and reflections of a life long lived. It gives one a sense of the incredible loneliness of ageing and the many little changes which none but the truly aged know. Through all the transformations one things remains constant and immortal—the farmhouse where the author's family has lived for 150 years.

    These are the scratching of a weary old man. It can be read to get a sense of what it feels like to remember, to die, to have lived. But it is an unremarkable

  • Brenda

    Frank account of life and aging as a poet, writer, husband, widower. His anecdotes on love and romance are insightful and touching. Never morose, but sometimes melancholic, I enjoyed this book.

    One of my favorite sections is titled The Wild Heifers which tells of the first prose book the author wrote and attempted to have published in The New York Times.

    Another that I really liked is titled Romance. Very sweet and funny.

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read any of the author’s poetry at

  • Pamela

    My thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. I expected more reflection on the process and peculiarities of aging. I expected less (or no) opinions of other poets, nor the ad nauseam rendition of the past 150 years of family history and circa 1865 farmhouse. I expected humor aka David Sedaris. I am at a loss to review A Carnival of Losses except to say I am most definitely in the minority with my strong dislike and disappointment of it and, therefore, will refrain fro ...more

  • Ellyn Lem

    I bet if someone is an ardent fan of Donald Hall's poetry, that person would revel in this latest collection of essays written in his late 80s. The novelist Ann Patchett is one such fan and has heartily endorsed the collection, which is how I had heard of it. While somewhat familiar with Hall's poems (less so his children's books and criticism), I had a hard time mustering up much excitement for most of these short snippets on a wide variety of topics, many of which involve lots of his relatives ...more

  • Michael

    There are many things I liked and enjoyed about this book - having just finished it, I find it difficult to try to organize a suitable short explanation of why I enjoyed. One comment would simply be that I am a typical (I fear) individual who only occasionally reads a poem or feels much affinity for poetry, but there is much here that does not require an enthusiasm for poetry..

    While reading the book, I looked up some of Mr. Hall's other works and discovered that he died last month (June 2018).