[Reading] ➸ Half In Shade By Judith Kitchen – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Half In Shade chapter 1 Half In Shade , meaning Half In Shade , genre Half In Shade , book cover Half In Shade , flies Half In Shade , Half In Shade d7185de370d57 Judith Kitchen Has Written A Book That Is At Once Clear And Accessible And At The Same Time Insistently Complex Her Effortlessly Constructed Hybrids Make Half In Shade Part Memoir, Part Speculation, Part Essay, A Demonstration Of The Interactive Art Of Seeing, And Finally For Me, A Beautifully Sustained Meditation It Is At That Meditative Level That The Book S Potent, Unsentimental Emotive Power Gathers Stuart DybekWhen Judith Kitchen Discovered Boxes Of Family Photos In Her Mother S Closet, It Sparked Curiosity And Speculation Piecing Together Her Memories With The Physical Evidence In The Photos, Kitchen Explores The Gray Areas Between The Present And The Past, Family And Self, Certainty And Uncertainty The Result Is A Lyrical, Ennobling Anatomy Of A Heritage, Family, Mother Daughter Relationships, And The Recovery From An Illness That Captures With Precision The Forces Of The Heart And Mind When None Of Us Knows What Lies Beyond The Moment, Outside The Frame Judith Kitchen Is The Award Winning Author Of Several Works Of Fiction, Nonfiction, And Poetry Her Work Has Won The Lillian Fairchild Award, A Pushcart Prize, And The S Mariella Gable Fiction Prize She Has Served As Judge For The AWP Nonfiction Award, The Pushcart Prize In Poetry, The Oregon Book Award, And The Bush Foundation Fellowships, Among Others The Recipient Of A National Endowment For The Arts Fellowship, Kitchen Lives In Port Townsend, Washington, And Serves On The Faculty And As Codirector Of The Rainier Writing Workshop At Pacific Lutheran University


10 thoughts on “Half In Shade

  1. says:

    Judith Kitchen s lyric memoir uses photographs to navigate her ancestral tree By analyzing and reflecting on the photographs included in the book, Judith maneuvers through history and reimagines what life may or may not have looked like By doing so, you can feel the author reaching for connection, understanding, and relationship with people that are no longer living Judith s tone is haunting throughout the book It is characterized by short sentences and sentence fragments of detail, which make it feel as if I am sitting next to her as she discovers and analyzes each photograph She questions herself and the reader throughout much of the text, saying, Oh, but wait, see here so that we discover the deeper meaning of the photographs right alongside her.Judith s collection does not have an identifiable narrative thread Three sections of brief lyric essays seem to move in a loose chronological order, from oldest ancestral photos to near present day, interrupted by two present day lyric essays Uncertainty and Certainty It is these two essays that provide the impetus for gathering these essays together This present day, personal interjection served as the element that kept me connected to the analysis of the photos throughout the book The individual essays often if not always engage than one era of Judith s ancestry This juxtaposition establishes a thread of continuity throughout the book here is how we are alike, here is how we are different, throughout the generations It also establishes how fleeting individual lives are, which is especially apparent when juxtaposed with Judith s three present day lyric essays.Each section begins with a quote that gives the reader a clue as to what one can expect to encounter the first section analyzing the past based on what the author knows will happen to these people, second accepting uncertainty and learning to live with it cancer lyric 1 , third the past mixing with what will happen in the future, fourth linking unknown to known cancer lyric 2 , fifth I have no idea what this means except perhaps that this section is imposing analysis on people that the narrator has known in real life and the danger of that , and sixth the gaps that had to be filled in and this final blend of the narrator s past self and the narrator s present day Judith s intentionality in each section and between sections is evident.Because the book is not really plot driven, it was harder for me to maintain a level of interest beyond wanting to see what else she has to say about or discover about her relatives through these photos, but Judith never disappoints in her lyrical prose The writing is magnificent and captivating, truly beautiful I felt an almost constant tension in the essays, as if the writer is truly frustrated that she does not know or cannot recreate or rewrite the histories of her family members, and yet by expressing I wish or I want to give her she does, in fact, give a glimpse of an alternate history as well as brief snapshots of who she is herself in relation to these people My favorite passage in the book is the longer lyrical essay Trueheart, where Judith writes through her mother s trip abroad The yearning for relationship with this woman, the desire for her to have or behave a certain way, is palpable throughout It is a masterful piece.


  2. says:

    Judith Kitchen s Half in Shade was a collection of short essays that explored photographs of the author s family members of long ago She examined each artifice, front and back filled in as many details as she knew and could devise and perhapsed her way through the rest The result is a mosaic of her family history.In some ways I felt like I was sitting with Kitchen in her livingroom, digging through boxes of photographs and inspecting them together She certainly did some research to discover her history, but it doesn t not feel journalistic the way Iversen s book did It was mostly contemplation In fact, I would go so far as to say this collection is almost prose poetry It is less about narrative, or agenda, or even ideas as it is about creating a meditative moment.Much of her language felt carefully crafted We could name them those brave voices that stand out from the crowd We could name them, but our lists would not tally Still, we would know what we mean someone was there before me Some one 65 But other sections seemed rather mundane, almost as if she were just writing whatever came to mind She has every right to like the lace as much as well, than the paintings In fact, I might have preferred it if she did 100 I supposed this gave the book a conversational feel, bringing me into her livingroom to pour over the pictures Still, I have to say I prefer Kitchen when she s using her gift for crafting language.As with most lyric essays, this book is probably best enjoyed in small doses, when the reader has time to linger.


  3. says:

    I read this for grad school It was poetic, evocative, a little sad Meditations on impermanence.


  4. says:

    I selected this book based on how I thought it might fit in with my hobbies of genealogy and photography The book deals with the author s thoughts and feelings about old family photos and journals found after her mother s death The author doesn t know many of the people in the photographs and tries to provide them with stories and lives based on remembered family stories and conjecture Plus she tries to see the elderly parents and grandparents she knows in the photos of them when they were much younger The book goes back and forth in time and is filled with the authors own introspection and retrospective thoughts of each photograph or quote from a journal There are several descriptions of her mothers trip to Europe in 1938 and about the author s fight with cancer The author writes descriptively of things remembered or seen and tries to evoke a response in the readers memory of what is being described Most of the time the author sort of beats around the bush and avoids making a definitive statement The reader is asked to interpret the description almost the same way you would if you were reading poetry I never really connected with the author s writing I like looking at old photos in antique stores and flea markets and speculate about the lives of those people But that doesn t translate into me enjoying this book Some of the photographs are interesting and I liked looking at them The author also would wonder how the people in the photographs would react if they knew their future or of upcoming events But the one thing I found missing in the speculations and descriptions was humor The author talked of forced smiles in the photos, as if no one enjoys having their photos taken I enjoy photography and candid photos and it seemed to me the author sometimes couldn t live in the moment of the photograph The author could only relate to the past or to the future of the moment.


  5. says:

    Judith Kitchen is a lyric essay name among names, so I want to like Judith Kitchen s writing There was one essay, Bits and Pieces 1, which I loved and could read again It had a surprising symmetry to the logic and the ideas presented there were children playing at war and young men strutting their stuff as they practiced WWI trench maneuvers The ending brings a dark banality that is both unexpected and obviously pointed towards throughout the two page essay This short, satisfying read did not justify the rest of the book for me Kitchen seems lost in thought and meanders in and out of pictures like a hapless tour guide who has not thought through their transitions from one room of her tour to the next I liked the idea of old pictures, but the musing was too meandering for me I realize this is the point of an essay, but the craft of it is to make it seem hapless and then finally to reveal a grand design I could see few grand designs and felt the initial excitement and the eventual weariness of looking through piles and piles of my own family photographs I did not really need to look through piles of someone else s.


  6. says:

    As I read Half In Shade Family, Photography, and Fate, I was torn between the beautiful poetic writing and the lack of connection with the author or the people in the photographs While the author used descriptive language and provided details associated with the photography it seemed that her family members as they would already have an affinity for the people pictured would be appreciative of this book than the general public There was nothing endearing to me about the people or places pictured and I was really looking forward to a personal relationship with them I felt like I was held at arms length and asked to interpret the authors meaning I also thought it was weird that the author would include photos that were not of her own family that appeared on the disk with her other pictures This book had interesting photography and parts of the writing caught my attention such as the author s depiction of her illness This style of writing is not my preference and the only reason I continued to read was because I won it on Goodreads.


  7. says:

    Afternoons filled with time, as though it were solid and you could save it in your pocket You stepped right inside the pages and they held you up p.48 A summer afternoon reading in my garden treat today to read in one sitting really it was that good Similar to what Kitchen s Distance and Direction has done in my life, Half in Shade will stay on my bookshelf and be pulled out to re read over and over.


  8. says:

    I really, really enjoyed it It s so full of REAL, TRUE life The author is so honest I loved the way it was written, and the words just flow together It was a beautiful mix of the pain of cancer, and old family photographs I absolutely loved it, and would definitely read it again I won this book on Goodreads First Reads.


  9. says:

    I received this book as a Good Reads first reads giveaway I love looking at old photographs staring at them, hoping to tease any information possible out of them so i enjoying the author s musings on the photographs, as well as her mother s travel journal, in this book a thoughtful poetic reflection.


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