The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer's Life
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The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer's Life

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In his three previous memoirs, Floyd Skloot grappled with the brain-ravaging virus that struck him at forty-one. He was, as the San Francisco Chronicle noted, “shaping the experience of crippling illness into dazzling literature.” How such alchemy is performed—where, in fact, the magic comes from—is the subject of Skloot’s new book, a memoir of the making of a writer.
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by University of Nebraska Press (first published 2008)
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Good book. This is a memoir told in essays that range from Skloot’s childhood in New York to his 60s in Oregon. We read about his early obsession with baseball, his later love of music and books, his summers at camp, his relationship with his family, and the final years with his mother in a nursing home. We learn how he gradually discovered his calling as a writer. At age 41, Skloot suffered a virus that damaged his brain, making it difficult for him to retain memories or to think or write the w...more
I really enjoyed reading this. The author has had a brain disease - and yet the work that he has pulled together as a feat of memory does not seem to reflect that in any way - except in his reflections on it. Instead it is evocative of growing up out East, his volatile and interesting family and the gift that the years brought to him. I thought the writing was terrific - the way the pieces all fit together brilliantly rendered. There is both a challenge and a joy in here that I really liked. As...more
Nov 02, 2008 Judy added it
I liked Skloot's previous memoirs. These essays all have been published elsewhere, now collected around the theme of the development of a writer. Skloot was hit with a brain virus in 1988, and since then has struggled for every word. His childhood memories bring back some of mine, though our lives were/are vastly different.

I was sorry to finish this collection of essays. I like this man's sensibilities, his method of storytelling.
What a beautiful, lyrical account of growing up in 1950s New York, being a boy, loving baseball, and becoming a writer. (And most of those things I don’t care about.)
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Floyd was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1947, and moved to Long Beach, NY, ten years later. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a B.A. in English, and completed an M.A. in English at Southern Illinois University, where he studied with the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella. From 1972 until becoming disabled by viral-borne brain damage in 1988, Floyd worked in the field of public policy in Il...more
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