The Traces: An Essay (Paperback)

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The Traces: An Essay By Mairead Small Staid Cover Image

The Traces: An Essay (Paperback)

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The Traces is a ranging inquiry into the seductions of memory and travel, the fragile paradox of desire, and the art of making meaning from a life.


The Traces is a work of memoir and criticism that explores the nature of happiness in art, literature, and philosophy, structured around a season spent in Italy and a reading of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.


Poised between plummeting depressions, the author considers the intellectual merits of joy and the redeeming promise offered by the beauty, both natural and manmade, that surrounds her. Traveling from Florence to Rome to Venice, drawing on the fields of physics, history, architecture, and cartography, and spurred by thinkers from Aristotle and Montaigne to Cesare Pavese and Anne Carson, The Traces is an ecstatic, insightful, and original debut.

Mairead Small Staid is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan and the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and Phillips Exeter Academy, where she was the Geoge Bennett Fellow. Her essays have appeared in AGNI, The Believer, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Minnesota.
Product Details ISBN: 9781646052004
ISBN-10: 1646052005
Publisher: Strange Object
Publication Date: November 1st, 2022
Pages: 252
Language: English