Book Description

Review Priscilla Long?s Fire and Stone is an archaeological dig into memory?personal, ancestral, historic, and prehistoric. Her questions are ancient ones, each interrogation drilling more deeply into our universal core. Yet it is not answers Long seeks but, rather, more intricate and complex questions that haunt the reader long after these pages are turned. Even as she excavates ?the remains of a human childhood? in a family whose children ?smoke and burn in the flame that made them,? her sharp gaze catches glints of beauty and hope?in music, art, ?the cud and breath of cows,? solitude, quietude, poetry, the ?blue stillness of a watercolor dawn,? and in the writers who have gone before her, allowing her to ?step . . . in all their footprints.? (Rebecca McClanahan author of The Tribal Knot and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings)Fire and Stone beautifully melds the arts and sciences. In this rare hybrid memoir, Priscilla Long charts not merely the past but the life of the imagination as well. A chronicle of a rural childhood, of a lively youth and a thoughtful, engaged maturity, Fire and Stone is an unforgettable reading experience. (Laura Kalpakian author of Three Strange Angels)In these compulsively readable essays, Priscilla Long contemplates vanishing acts, both mundane and monumental. She ponders her best friend?s disappearance, her sister?s suicide, and her grandfather?s dementia alongside the losses that haunt humanity: Whatever became of the Neanderthals? Of solitude or silence? Finally, in an age when the planet loses 150 species to extinction each and every day, what?s to become of us? (Sharon Oard Warner author of Sophie?s House of Cards)Lucky for us, Priscilla Long fancied herself a thinker from a young age. In Fire and Stone, she displays a lifetime's scintillating affair with science and with the arts and letters, on topics as varied as genomes and banjos and Neanderthals. Beyond autobiography, Long suggests ways we might discover who we are for ourselves. Her collection is an inspiration, dense with layers of invention and mystery and sparkling with her wise heart. (Sonya Lea author of Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir)I have always thought of Priscilla Long as a science writer, one who explains the most fundamental and difficult processes of science in lucid and elegant prose. But Fire and Stone shows me that science is just one aspect of her exploration of the deepest questions related to her self and to our selves. She is finally a philosophical writer, one who employs science, history, autobiography, and her fine literary sensibility in an engaging search for meaning. (Robert Wilson editor of The American Scholar) Read more Book Description How science leads us toward discoveries about the human condition Read more See all Editorial Reviews