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Light Takes by Mia Anderson


In these Light Takes or playful seizures, Anderson speaks elegantly and eloquently of the unspeakable. She talks lightly of heavy things. She pricks our imagination into fresh perceptions of how things stand with us—especially of how we stand in relation to the transcendent. She perches as the proverbial fly on the wall: here is human nature twisting in knots of evasion, bumping into joy by chance, making the worst of a good situation, or the best of a bad. It is not that Anderson is cynical, but that she sees the many ploys people use to dodge the grace that awaits them. More often than not, it is as one of these dodgers that she speaks. But sometimes it is as an oracle indistinguishable from the voice of a child, or from the king’s fool. Occasionally the nonhuman world of tamed or untamed nature confronts the human condition and calls it into question, and Anderson watches it with love and awe. This is a watching book, where watching is distilled into drops. The drops are small enough that you must stop and wonder what it is you just tasted. Was that gall, or medicine, or honey? Or all three?

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