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Season of the Body: Essays

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A memoir in essay form, with the body as its central reference point.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Sarabande Books
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Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Five stars alone for "Infant Ward," which is easily one of the most devastating essays I've read in ages. The sections divide roughly into Jewish identity, Buddhist/meditative identity, and mother/maternal identity (interesting, because Miller is upfront about her childlessness). Miller's a pioneer of the braided essay, and it's on full display here--practically a master class in how to do it.
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
These beautifully written essays moved me deeply, and haunt the reader with Miller's sense of loss over her two ecotopic pregnancies and flawed, sometimes broken, relationships. The loss is not the whole story, Miller writes of joys as well and of her sense of balance and being in her body.
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I have reading Brenda's book since December and just finished last week. One of the many things that I love about this book is that the essays really stand on their own (hence making it possible for me to take 6 months to read it). However, the reoccurring characters help weave the stories together in a natural way. Brenda is an amazing lyric essayists and reading this book made me want to write, which is perhaps the highest compliment that I can think of to give an author (and a book). Even if ...more
Apr 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lyric essay fans
Brenda Miller’s Season of the Body is a beautiful collection of lyrical essays (see The Seneca Review’s definition of the “lyric essay”) that swim and glide around the themes of body, loss, self-worth, identity, massages, meditation, and a myriad of other akin soft and supple things.
Miller’s language is warm and inviting, replete with gorgeous imagery, stellar description, and impeccable honesty.
If you’re new to this form, Miller’s book is a beautiful place to settle in and get acquainted with t
Mary Helene
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mary Helene by: Katie Wiese
Some books seem to change how one experiences daily life. This is one. I find myself describing the quotidian mystery of buttercups thick as stars in the grass as I walk the dog in the morning. Brenda Miller's own lyric honesty inspires one.
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you want to know how to collage creative nonfiction/personal essay, read this.
I just finished Season of the Body a couple of days ago. This book is both beautiful and infuriating. In some of her essays, Brenda Miller has perfect pitch, but in others she can’t keep a tune to save her life—or her book. The lesser essays are infuriating, maddening, frustrating: why can’t the entire collection live up to its most beautiful essays?

At her best, Brenda Miller is luminous and poetic. In “Season of the Body,” she writes: “It’s not just the animal body I want, the mathematics of se
Emma Bolden
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. I looked forward to it and was so certain I would love it that I saved it so it would be the last book I read in winter break. I was disappointed. There are gorgeous essays here that live up to the promise of "The Date," which is one of my favorite essays and the reason I thought I would love this so much. Her writing is still and beautiful. But so much here felt so oddly off. At the risk of sounding like a prude, I felt put off by the essays about her foursomes -- th ...more
Jay Z
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really don't know what to say about this book other than the fact that one essay contains a description of the profound experience one of Brenda's besties (or polyamorous sex partners, can't remember) had, which entailed giving birth, collecting the resulting placenta, cooking it in butter and onions, and then eating it. (Why? It's all very spiritual and healing for the body.)

Fine it's a lie, I actually DO know what to say about this book. It's a leaking vagina-fest. Blood, moon, animal, spiri
Mar 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
The content of these essays was very engaging for me, as it traversed many of the same struggles with identity that I have tackled in my life, which include balancing the traditions we come from with our contemporary and ever-expanding views of how to live our lives. Also, if I ever decided to write some personal essays, I would return to this book for ideas, inspiration and the structural conceits she employs.
Jun 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
I ADORED Brenda Miller's Season of the Body. These collection of essays was gorgeously written and engaging on many levels. It definitely helped me see the stylistic layering I can do with non-fiction, which I adored. And it struck a great balance between being accessible and challenging. 4 out of 5 Hello Kittys.
Oct 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
Okay: I think that "Essays" is misleading. This book reads like a chronological memoir.

That being said, I loved reading this book. Miller's deliberate, insightful, and utterly honest style is both heartbreaking and absolutely beautiful. My boyfriend was out of town when I was reading it, and I kept having to call him up to read passages.

Sarabande Books
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
2003 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist for Nonfiction
Summer 2002 Book Sense Selection
2002 Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers Finalist
2002/2003 Pushcart Prize for essay
2002 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Finalist
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Memoirs both personal yet distant- focused around theme of physical body as opposed to narrative chronology. Clean prose, lovely words, lasting themes. Good stuff about yoga, waiting for a date, having a foursome, losing two babies, raising a friend's baby.
Oct 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-50-books
Nearly finished. A meaningful memoir in so many places, but not, in others. Why did I have to battle through whole sections of gawd-awful narcissism to find my love for this beautiful book, here near the end? Frustrating!
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love Brenda Miller--what she has to say and how she says it. I admire her courage in tackling the issues in this book--love, sex, loneliness, womanhood, etc.
Tina Schumann
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-pause
Miller is a wonderful writer. Generous and thoughtful. I pick this up in between other reads.
Camille Chidsey
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, essays
Love, love, love this book. I even got to workshop with her!
John Hawkins
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful writing by Bellingham's Brenda Miller. I recommend it.
Feb 07, 2009 added it
Brilliant, colorful, and touching prose. Essays that read like a memoir. She really knows how to draw the reader into her life as she lived it. Loved it.
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Josephine Ensign
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Aug 30, 2013
Kate Beles
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Jun 17, 2008
Erika Anderson
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Dec 07, 2011
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Mar 16, 2014
David Lister
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Sep 19, 2014
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Brenda Miller is the author of Season of the Body and co-author of Tell it Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction Her newest collection of essays, Blessing of the Animals, is forthcoming from Eastern Washington University Press. Her work has received five Pushcart Prizes and has been published in many journals, including Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun, Utne Reader, The Georgia ...more
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