A Globe and Mail top 100 book of 2012
In a series of playful and startling prose meditations, celebrated writer Lorna Crozier brings her rapt attention to the small matter of household objects: everything from doorknobs, washing machines, rakes, and zippers to the kitchen sink.
Operating as a sort of literary detective, she examines the mystery of the everyday, seeking the essence of each object. She offers tantalizing glimpses of the household's inhabitants, too, probing hearts, brains, noses, and navels. Longing, exuberance, and grief colour her reflections, which at times take on the tenor of folktales or parables.
Each of the short portraits in The Book of Marvels stands alone, but the connections are intricate; as in life, each object gains meaning from its juxtaposition with others. Crozier approaches her investigations with a childlike curiosity, an adult bemusement, and an unfailing sense of metaphor and mischief. With both charm and mordant wit, she animates the panoply of wonders to be found everywhere around us and inside us.
Ödelightful new book . . . told with that inimitable Crozier combination of mischief and exuberance, longing and grief . . . Cousin to both Nerudaís Odes to Common Things and Pongeís Le parti pris des choses, The Book of Marvels is an irresistible invitation to sit up and take notice, to pay attention to every random thing, to never forget . . . From here on in, it will be impossible to be bored or take anything for granted ever again. And for that, we can be forever grateful to Lorna Crozier . . . —Globe & Mail
Crozier's delivery is equal parts pithy and pathos . . . She writes about inanimate objects as if they had inner worlds, as if by interacting with them, we visit their abodes, inhabit their longstanding places. —Stevie Howell, National Post
Lorna Crozier raises the objects of everyday life into things of alien beauty. Each page opens onto a new marvel. —Esi Edugyan
Lorna Crozier takes great pleasure in the world and her pleasure becomes ours. This book knows a great truth—that nothing is known until it is held: in our hands, or our mind, or our heart. —Anne Michaels
Poet Lorna Crozier's The Book of Marvels, A Compendium of Everyday Things, is an ideal book to save for the Christmas stockings of people who love words and humour. —Toronto Star
The Book of Marvels is an irresistible invitation to sit up and take notice, to pay attention to every random thing, to never forget. —Diane Schoemperlen, Globe & Mail
Crozier masterfully animates an array of wonders that can be found everywhere around us and inside of our souls. —Toronto Quarterly
Crozier, an award-winning author of 16 books of poetry as well as a memoir, plays with words and takes delightful flights into fiction and folklore. As much as this compendium is an honouring of everyday things, it is a celebration of the intricacies of the mind and heart. —Mary Ann Moore, Vancouver Sun
In her descriptions, Crozier gives the inanimate objects that surround us more than character, she gives them agency. They even seem, by times, to be conspirators in our intimacies, anthropomorphic abettors in our sneaky, strange human maneuvers. —Kate Wallace, Telegraph-Journal