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The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In this wide-ranging collection of essays, stories, graphic memoir, and cross-genre work, writers explore the deeply human act of kissing, and share their thoughts on a specific kiss—the unexpected and unforgettable, the sublime and the ambiguous, the devastating and the regenerative. Selections from beloved authors “tantalize with such grace that they linger sweetly in ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by W. W. Norton Company
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  78 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is more of a book to dip in and out of than to read cover to cover. A whole host of authors were asked to write a story about a kiss, and this was interpreted in such a wide range of ways that it almost lacks cohesion, all except for the presence of a kiss. But that might be inside trauma, a parent-child relationship, a betrayal, or a love story.

Thanks to the publisher for providing early access to the title through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Available 13 February 2018.
Siobhan Fallon
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, ok, yes, I have a story inside, so obviously my objectivity should be viewed with skepticism. But I genuinely love this book! I hadn't read it in its entirely until it landed on my doorstep after publication and I was so delighted with the final result. There is a little bit of everything, nonfiction essays and conversations, touching memoir, short stories that border on poetry and mind-bending science fiction.
Sexy, funny, heart-breaking, this is an incredible anthology, and I am so honored
Kristin G
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have carried this book with me all holiday season, taking in one precious kiss after another. It stayed on my bedside table while I wrapped presents badly, traveled to the hair salon and rested in my lap as the hair dye took hold, and kept me company in TJ Maxx when the lines were abysmally long and I didn't know what to get anyone for Christmas. This book full of kisses from middle school to the deathbed shot me up with the adrenaline of human souls trying so hard to communicate. There were ...more
Patrick Hicks
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Through stories, essays, and poems, a huge variety of writers explore the simple and profound act of kissing. It's a wonderful anthology that explores all the different kisses we experience in life: passion, betrayal, tenderness, kindness, longing, loss. The first kisses, the kiss that didn't happen, the pecks on children's cheeks at bedtime, kissing the Blarney Stone -- we're reminded just how big this tiny act can be. With work from Mark Doty, Kim Addonizio, Patricia Smith, Ada Limon, Martin ...more
Stacey Lynn
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This anthology is absolutely gorgeous. A bevy of excellent writers--poets, fiction writers, and essayists--all find unique ways to approach one of our most common shared physical experiences, rendering their memories, reveries, and intimacies in beautifully wrought prose. It's the kind of book you read a bit at a time, taking a necessary moment to savor and think on what you've just read, only to dive in again when ready. It's also one I'll return to again and again. Whenever this world feels ...more
Lauren Paletta
I only read Aimee Nexhukumatathil's story 'Notes on the Invisible Kiss' but it was wonderful! If you have never read her poetry, you should!
This is a solid collection of essays, vignettes, poems, short stories, etc. capturing brief acts of searing intimacy found in/related to the act of kissing. Love (of various varieties), lust, violence, memory, compulsive, and grief are explored; though the love/lust kisses may skew toward the heteronormative, the diversity of the authors (e.g. literary genre, the inclusion of women writers, persons of color, etc.) is good. As with any anthology, some pieces are better than others; however, this ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No spoilers! Hunted this book down in a few places unsuccessfully until I finally got my hands on a cooy at Sacramento Public Library’s Arcade Branch. Yay! Many writers appear in this anthology whose work I enjoy but I only had time & interest in one short story therein: Christian Kiefer’s tale, “Skeery the Blue.”

The protagonist is a 12 or 14 year old girl, and Kiefer’s narrative reflects the emotional & psychological maturity if an intelligent, fierce young woman, easily drawing us into
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
It's always hard for me to rate a collection of essays, short stories, poetry, etc. by different authors. Some of these were fives, some were probably twos - as it should be - not every author is for every person. That being said, overall, this collection was fairly musical and well-written, a series of intimate encounters - both real and fictional. And spanning not just the kiss between lovers, but kisses between family, parents and children, teammates, and even the kiss of a racquetball ...more
Pam Mooney
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. It was like a dreaming through the night going from one intimate perspective to another. I loved the collection includes so many different "kisses" as I was always anxious to see what would unfold in the next story. So many ideas that I would never have come up with on my own. Well done/edited to flow easily from each author to the next. I also liked that there were quotes included - an added bonus. A good read.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a little different writing for me. I was lost a little, but managed to get through it!
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recall your first kiss, imagine the kiss not given and the one you may be dreaming about now. A wonderful collection that will surprise you.
Deirdre Fagan
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredible lineup of authors and deliberate range in approaches on the part of the editor. The assemblage is perfect. Too many favorites to count.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a Goodreads win review. This book is about kissing all over the World. It was interesting.
Oct 01, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
DNF at 58 pages
Disclaimer: I got a copy through a Goodreads giveaway.
The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers
This book is a fun mix. The kisses written about range from first kisses for a newborn to last kisses as someone passes from life. There are playful kisses, sexy kisses, and even a sci-fi kiss. I really wondered where that one was heading off to! Most of the stories are short. After all, dozens of writer’s stories are included in the book. Some had more depth, both in length and meaning.
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Brian Turner is the director of the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and the prize-winning author of two poetry collections about his seven years in the United States Army. He lives in Orlando, Florida.