“A surprisingly maximalist portrait of a life.” —New York Times Book Review
The 52 micro-memoirs in genre-defying Heating & Cooling offer bright glimpses into a richly lived life, combining the compression of poetry with the truth-telling of nonfiction into one heartfelt, celebratory book. Alternatingly wistful and wry, ranging from childhood recollections to quirky cultural observations, these micro-memoirs build on one another to shape a life from unexpectedly illuminating moments.
About the Author
Beth Ann Fennelly is the author of three poetry collections, Unmentionables, Tender Hooks, and Open House; two memoirs, Heating & Cooling and Great with Child; and a novel, The Tilted World, coauthored with her husband, Tom Franklin. She teaches at the University of Mississippi, and is also the state’s Poet Laureate. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
Imagine the hundred things you enjoy doing most in the world. Reading Beth Ann Fennelly’s Heating & Cooling is more fun than 95 of them.
— Richard Russo
Varying in length from a single sentence to several pages, the essays in [Heating & Cooling] are told with wry self-awareness and compassion.
Consistently entertaining…always poised, eloquent, and full of moments of tenderness.
Wise, irreverent, funny.…Everyone should read this book.
Whether you call these pieces poetry or memoir, they showcase Fennelly’s signature freshness and candor.… This collection will invite you into the delicate balance between the challenging, sometimes squalid, human condition and the beauty and sadness of the transcendent.
A rich, varied, and refreshingly unpredictable portrait of a woman in her prime.… Readers, you are in for a hootenanny of a wild ride. This is Fennelly at her most laid-bare, wickedly funny, and irrepressibly poetic best.
Part of the fun of reading Heating & Cooling is watching Fennelly play with language, making every word count, all while digging into the heart of things.… This tiny book packs many mighty punches as Fennelly takes on Catholicism, cancer, marriage, motherhood, and mortality.
[Fennelly] has an eye for the absurd, for those telling, little moments that make up a life and build memories. Some are humorous, some are moving. Others are heartbreaking.
Fennelly packs a lot into each short piece, with some lighter in subject matter and others with a sudden punch-in-the-gut feel, weighted with existential exploration. Potent despite their brevity.
An author of bold perception, powerful femininity, and candid vulnerability. This deceptively slim, convention-defying collection delivers unerringly generous rewards.