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Vessels: A Memoir of What Wasn't

Daniel Raeburn

6 Reviews

Rated 0

Memoirs, Prose: non-fiction

'My daughter died on Christmas. Three days after she died, she was born.'

Based on Daniel Raeburn's acclaimed New Yorker essay, VESSELS is an exquisite portrait of a marriage tested to its very limits.

An unforgettable portrait of a marriage tested to its limits.

When Dan, a writer with a passion for underground comics, and his wife Bekah, a potter dedicated to traditional Japanese ceramics, met through a mutual friend, they swiftly fell in love. "Of all the women I've ever met," Dan told a friend, "she's the first one who felt like family." But at Christmas, as they prepared for the birth of their first child, tragedy struck.

Based on Daniel Raeburn's acclaimed New Yorker essay, VESSELS: A MEMOIR OF WHAT WASN'T is the story of how the couple clashed and clung to each other through a series of unsuccessful pregnancies before finally, joyfully, becoming parents. In prose as handsomely unadorned as his wife's pottery, Raeburn recounts a marriage cemented by the same events that nearly broke it.

VESSELS is an unflinching, enormously moving account of intimacy, endurance and love.

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Praise for Vessels: A Memoir of What Wasn't

  • Daniel Raeburn gets right down to the essentials: life, death, love, loss. There's not a spare syllable here, and the telegraphic style has the odd effect of amplifying these profound questions, allowing them to resonate fully. Vessels is a beautiful book about the sheer, mysterious contingency of anyone being born at all.

  • A brilliant and dazzling story about love, marriage and family. In a prose so transparent that you feel as if it's your own experience, Daniel Raeburn has written a beautiful book about loss and redemption

  • Vessels conveys the complicated loves of marriage and parenting, of finding honest and enduring meaning in a time when one is hard-pressed to do so

  • Spare and elegant and smart and propulsive, but above all alive with the close breath of the realest intimacy

  • This is one of the wisest, saddest, most beautiful books about love that I've ever read.

  • [Vessels] is not only a poignant expression of how two young people matured as they created a family. It is also a celebration of the way that birth - even if that birth ends in sudden death - brings new life to parents. An eloquently candid memoir. - Kirkus

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Daniel Raeburn

Daniel Raeburn's writing has appeared in the New Yorker and Tin House, and he is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at the University of Chicago.

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