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Poetic Memoirs

Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

Beth Ann Fennelly

"Maybe, at the end, there will be a reckoning of kisses. Maybe, along with good deeds, they tally our generosities of flesh. Maybe how we're judged is this: Were you a waste of breath? Maybe eternity feels like an endless kiss." (excerpt from Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly)

Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs is a collection of stories that breaks from memoir tradition. Beth Ann Fennelly writes about love, loss, laughter, and the motions of everyday life. The memoirs are a quick and easy read; however, they provide wisdom enough for the stories to be read time and time again. A reader might be surprised to find that not only are there sentence short memoirs, but more importantly the depth that can be found in the experience of reading those short memoirs. The reader may take what individually is seen through the stories and that is the very beauty of it, so many relevant life lessons can come from a sentence short memoir. Fennelly, also a poet, is able to combine the beauty of words in poetry with memoirs, a combination making for a beautiful reading experience. The combination of her skills make the term "short and sweet" a complimentary one in regards to the collection of memoirs.

"Why, at nineteen, did that strike me as the height of glamour? And why-this is even harder to parse-why, remembering it now, does it still? Now that I'm old enough to know better, and spend a good part of my day cleaning up others' messes. Further, why would I have forgotten this, and for so long?" (excerpt from Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly)

Danny Feekes, the Goodreads managing editor writes, "It's cliché to say you'll laugh and cry, but it's likely you'll do both." Author Daniel Wallace writes, "Every sentence in this book could be sent to the Smithsonian Institution in case future readers want to know what a great sentence is like." American Novelist Leslie Jamison writes about the memoirs, " The pieces look like jewels-finely wrought, lyric, and subtle-the expose themselves as creatures: vital, writhing, surprising, alive. They're funny as hell. They've got cool wit, but they're feverish to the touch. They've been living inside me ever since I have read them, heating and cooling me." New York Times Book Review wrote about the novel, "Heating and Cooling contains essays that are sometimes as short as ten words... but add up to a surprising maximalist portrait of life."

"If there was a planet where all repairmen were repairwomen, I'd rocket there, never to return to it. I'd still be puzzled when something broke and they explained-I'm nobody's lifeline, after all-but I wouldn't be additionally puzzled by my failures as a feminist." (excerpt from Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly)

As apart of the SouthBound Lecture series, Writers@Work with Chattanooga State Community College, StarLine Books, and Southern Lit Alliance will be hosting Beth Ann Fennelly. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 10th at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by a discussion and book signing with Fennelly. She will be discussing her book, Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs. The event will be hosted at StarLine Books at 1467 Market St. #106 in downtown Chattanooga. Admission is free. Reservations are requested. Click the link to register here:

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