Soft cover | memoir & art | full color insert
225 pages | $24
These 37 journal entries from 1867 to 2008 present – in words, photographs, and paintings – chronicle the extraordinary lives of ordinary people: a young married couple in a covered wagon train, an immigrant on a ship to America in 1919, a backpacker on a bus in Guatemala, a woman in Tel Aviv under missile attack, a teenager in the 1970s, an adult daughter caring for her elderly father, a stay-at-home dad with his new daughter, a passenger on a grounded flight on September 11, 2001, and many others.
“Keeping Time is a book of rare inspiration, revealing the power of journal writing as a path of endurance through quiet times and mad ones. The 36 diaries excerpted here offer sharp glimpses into everything from immigration to military service, from parenting to cancer, from Israel in the Gulf War to Newfoundland on 9/11. One writer bears witness to a dying mother’s torments by recording every word she says. Another uses tiny watercolors to track the progress of his grief after his wife’s death. One captures the anguish of sending her son to Vietnam in a few heartfelt paragraphs. How many readers will be able to resist picking up their own pens after seeing what, in all simplicity, is possible?”
Saucy, revealing, tender, tough, pained, funny, determined and surprisingly literary in the hardest of times, this anthology of journal writing – 150 years of history seen through the cracks of private lives – will make you glad that Kendra Kopelke and Mary Azrael gathered these pages. From a young wife cleaving to her new husband in a wagon train headed West, to Jews ducking SCUD rockets in Israel, “Keeping Time” is a diary of spirit and survival, the kind of work that justifies the existence of non-profit and university presses. Bravo.