One of our recommended books for 2020 is Constellations by Sinead Gleeson

CONSTELLATIONS

Reflections from Life


A #1 Irish bestseller, Sinéad Gleeson’s essays chronicle—in crystalline, tender, powerful prose—life in a body as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood, and love of all kinds.

I have come to think of all the metal in my body as artificial stars, glistening beneath the skin, a constellation of old and new metal. A map, a tracing of connections and a guide to looking at things from different angles.

We treat the body as an afterthought, until it no longer can be. Until the pain or the pleasure is too great. Sinéad Gleeson’s life has been marked by terrible illness,

more …

A #1 Irish bestseller, Sinéad Gleeson’s essays chronicle—in crystalline, tender, powerful prose—life in a body as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood, and love of all kinds.

I have come to think of all the metal in my body as artificial stars, glistening beneath the skin, a constellation of old and new metal. A map, a tracing of connections and a guide to looking at things from different angles.

We treat the body as an afterthought, until it no longer can be. Until the pain or the pleasure is too great. Sinéad Gleeson’s life has been marked by terrible illness, including leukemia and debilitating arthritis. As a child, she bathed in the springs of Lourdes, ever hopeful that her body would cooperate, ever looking forward to the day when she could take her body for granted. But just as she turns inward to explore her own pain, and then the marvel of recovery, and then the arrival of her greatest joys—falling in love, becoming a mother—she turns her gaze outward. She delves into history, art, literature, and music, plotting the intimate experience of life in a women’s body across a wide-ranging map. From Nick Cave to Taylor Swift, Botticelli to Frida Kahlo, Louisa May Alcott to Lucy Grealy, Constellations is an investigation into the different ways of seeing, both uniquely personal and universal in its resonances.

In the tradition of some of our finest life writers, Gleeson explores—in her own spirited, generous voice—the fierceness of being alive. She has written “a book [that] every woman should read” (Eimear McBride).

less …
  • Mariner Books
  • Paperback
  • March 2020
  • 256 Pages
  • 9780358213031

Buy the Book

$15.99

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Sinéad Gleeson

Sinéad Gleeson is the author of Constellations, credit Brid O'DonovanSinéad Gleeson is a writer, editor and freelance broadcaster. She has been published in Granta, among many other places, and is the editor of three award-winning short anthologies, including The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers. Previously, Gleeson presented The Book Show on RTÉ Radio One in Ireland. She currently lives in Dublin.

Praise

#1 BESTSELLER IN IRELAND 
WINNER OF THE IRISH BOOK AWARD 
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN * OBSERVER * IMAGE IRISH TIMES * NEW STATESMAN * IRISH INDEPENDENT  

“These brilliant essays read as if Gleeson has made a vow to her readers to illuminate what it means to live in a human body—for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health—all the days of her life. Come for the dark jokes and existential dread. Stay for the beauty and tenderness.” —Jenny Offill, author of Weather

“Nimbly written, balletic in style, heartfelt, spirited, and thoughtful, Sinéad Gleeson’s Constellations is a powerful, inspiring gift to readers everywhere.” —Jami Attenberg, author of All This Could Be Yours

“Bell-clear and immaculately hewn throughout, Gleeson’s voice is also strikingly muscular and dexterous . . . Her voice and what she says with it is everything her body hasn’t been — vigorous, adamantine, assured . . . Powerful registers are struck, and always there is something linking the discussion back to what is for the writer the most tangibly immediate components of her life. This is where she cracks you wide open . . . You’d need a heart of stone to resist these hymns and paeans . . . A book brimming with vitality and sincerity.” Independent (UK)

“Gleeson is an eloquent storyteller, and the stories are held in delicate balance with the analysis of her world.” Guardian (UK)

“Sinéad Gleeson’s essay collection brings together passionate, transcendent essays about bodies and art, ghosts and womanhood, grief and motherhood, and what it’s like to live in a body that fails you. Like the perfect title indicates, this is a glistening ensemble of pieces that live on their own but, all together, form a powerful emotional universe.” Elle (UK), “Ones to watch in 2019”

“Outstanding . . . wide-ranging, intimate, and expressive . . . it’s clear that Gleeson’s insight is hard-won, and that, like the women who inspire her, she has found a way to transmute her experience into something powerful that demands to be heard.”Observer (UK)

“Gleeson’s eye for detail, particularly the absurd or tragic, is dangerously sharp. She is a thoughtful writer who emerges from her illnesses resilient and unbowed.” Times (Ireland)

“Dazzling . . . Things are changing, thanks to tireless campaigners like Gleeson. These essays are political and they tell of how a life can be saved several times and lived to the full, despite great pain, despite great obstacles.” Irish Times

“An eloquent collection of essays on health, parenthood and the brutality of being a woman inhabiting a body.” Harper’s Bazaar, “Irish writers are taking over literature—These are the seven you need to know about”

“This stirring collection of personal essays from Irish radio broadcaster Gleeson effortlessly renders pain, both physical and emotional, into prose…While ‘in illness it is hard to find the right words,’ Gleeson’s strong work shows it is worth the effort to search for them.” Publishers Weekly

“An extraordinary piece of writing—beautiful, life affirming, and full of heart.” Irish Examiner