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My Year 2009: Facing the Heat

Douglas Messerli

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Douglas Messerli
My Year 2009: Facing the Heat
Series No.: 264
ISBN: 978-1-55713-429-5, Pages: 504
American Literature, Memoir

Buy the My Year series (14 books)


In My Year 2009: Facing the Heat, the eighth volume to appear in Douglas Messerli's on-going cultural memoirs, the author expresses that he suspected, what with the beginning of Barack Obama's presidency, the country would have to face "the heat," so speak, the wrath of the divided electorate and legislatures. Along with this, suddenly Hedda Gabbler, in a New York revival, threatened to burn manuscripts and shoot lovers; dancer and choreographer Yvonne Rainer recreated Stravinsky's ritualistically feverish ballet The Rite of Spring; and Canadian poet Robert Blaser, who died during the year, was reconsidered through his 2006 book of essays, The Fire. A new biography on the fervent Catholic author Flannery O'Connor revealed her roots in the often brutal early church theology; while writer Wendy Walker deconstructed the famed child murder of Savill Kent with the intense "blue fire" of her book's title. Even when looking back on history, as in the year's revivals of two great plays and a musical of the late 1950s and early 1960s (West Side Story, Exit the King, and Waiting for Godot), the action was bathed in a series of sweaty struggles between warring gangs, life and death, and despair and salvation that were simply "too darn hot"—to borrow the title of Cole Porter's song from Kiss Me Kate.

The author himself ventured to the island of Ischia in Southern Italy where he spent several days in a sirocco, perspiring in the hammering sun.

Once more, through a discussion of fiction, poetry, drama, film, dance, art, music, performance, and travel, Messerli attempted to evaluate 21st century life in the context of a metaphor which spoke to the events of the year, while simultaneously contextualizing the current circumstances in cultural and critical perspectives that might illuminate their significance.

Author of several collections of poetry, a fiction, Letters from Hanusse (under the pseudonym of Joshua Haigh), dramas (writing as Kier Peters), and other diverse writings, Douglas Messerli was the publisher of Sun & Moon Press and is currently editor and publisher of Green Integer. Since 2000, he has written annual cultural memoirs, the most recent of which is My Year 2015: Who Are You? Who Am I?. He was named Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his publication in English of French literature, and he was awarded The American Book Award and the ALTA Award for his publishing.

Also by Douglas Messerli:
After [Sun & Moon], $9.95
Bow Down, $9.95
Dark, $9.95
Dinner on the Lawn [Sun & Moon], $14.95
First Words, $9.95
Maxims from My Mother's Milk / Hymns to Him: A Dialogue [Sun & Moon], Out of Stock
Maxims from My Mother's Milk / Hymns to Him: A Dialogue (hardcover) [Sun & Moon], $19.95
My Year 2000: Leaving Something Behind, $17.95
My Year 2001: Keeping History a Secret, $17.95
My Year 2002: Love, Death, and Transfiguration, $9.95
My Year 2003: Voice Without a Voice, $9.95
My Year 2004: Under Our Skin, $9.95
My Year 2005: Terrifying Times, $9.95
My Year 2006: Serving, $9.95
My Year 2007: To the Dogs, $9.95
My Year 2008: In the Gap, $9.95
My Year 2010: Shadows, $9.95
My Year 2011: No One's Home , $9.95
My Year 2012: Centers Collapse, $17.95
My Year 2013: Murderers and Angels, $17.95
On Marriage: The Imagination of Being, $9.95
Reading Films: My International Cinema, Digital Only
River to Rivet: A Manifesto [Sun & Moon], $14.95
Silence All Round Marked: An Historical Play in Hysteria Writ [Sun & Moon], $9.95
Some Distance, Out of Stock
Stay, $9.95
The Walls Come True: An Opera for Spoken Voices (The Structure of Destruction, Part II) [Sun & Moon], $14.95

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