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memoir by Mark Salzman - I wish my life were so interesting. Yet it is
the everydayness of this book that makes it compelling: raising his
daughters, caring for his seriously ill sister, running a household,
dealing with unwanted pets. It all feels familiar, so familiar that you
can’t stop reading to see how it all turns out.
— From The Man in the Empty Boat
From the author of Iron & Silk comes a moving memoir of love and family, loss and spiritual yearning
Anxiety has always been part of Mark Salzman’s life: He was born into a family as nervous as rabbits, people with extra angst coded into their genes. As a young man he found solace through martial arts, meditation, tai chi, and rigorous writing schedules, but as he approaches midlife, he confronts a year of catastrophe. First, Salzman suffers a crippling case of writer’s block; then a sudden family tragedy throws his life into chaos. Overwhelmed by terrifying panic attacks, the author begins a search for equanimity that ultimately leads to an epiphany from a most unexpected source. The Man in the Empty Boat is a witty and touching account of a skeptic’s spiritual quest, a story of one man’s journey to find peace as a father, a writer, and an individual.
“If there were a prize for most winning writer, Mark Salzman would cop it.” —The New York Times “The concreteness and economy of Salzman’s writing, his eye and ear for tiny resonant details . . . eventually yield their riches in a clear-eyed vision.” —New York “Mark Salzman is a delightful writer with a keen eye. He’s full of compassion and humor.” —St. Petersburg Times “Salzman is a gifted storyteller, able in short order to capture the look, feel, even the smell of everyday.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer