A Carnival of Losses by Donald Hall

A Carnival of Losses

New essays from the vantage point of very old age, once again “alternately lyrical and laugh-out-loud funny,”* from the former poet laureate of the United States * New York Times Donald Hall lived a remarkable life of letters, one capped most recently by the New York Times bestseller Essays After Eighty, a “treasure” of a book in which he “balance[s] frankness about losses with humor and gratitude” (Washington Post). Before his pass...

Details A Carnival of Losses

TitleA Carnival of Losses
Release DateJul 10th, 2018
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreWriting, Essays, Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography

Reviews A Carnival of Losses

  • Gerri
    Until I saw a write up about this book in my local newspaper, I had no idea who Donald Hall was. The synopsis of the book was so intriguing that I had to read it and I’m so glad I did!!!! One of the best reads this summer. Mr. Hall is so open and honest in this writing about everything from aging, his loves, loss and life in general at turning 90. I don’t think he held anything back. Loved the way he wrote in short chapters which made this bo...
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    Donald Hall wrote so openly and honestly of aging.He held nothing back the fact that the older he got the more naps he needed remembering his younger years.When he talks about Jane Kenyon his love a young woman he met when she was in his college class. How they fell in love built a life both poets her poetry so beautiful. Their daily routine till his heartbreak she fell ill he nursed her daily but this much younger woman the love he never got ove...
  • Eric
    I did not know who Donald Hall was before I read this. I read a review of this somewhere. It wasn't as depressing as it sounds. A lot of it was pretty funny actually. Donald Hall was the poet laureate of America about 10 years ago. He was married to Jane Kenyon who died of leukemia at 47. He talked about her a lot and also about getting older (no surprise there), poets that he had met, friends, his family, and the old farmhouse he lived in among ...
  • Ellyn Lem
    I bet if someone is an ardent fan of Donald Hall's poetry, that person would revel in this latest collection of essays written in his late 80s. The novelist Ann Patchett is one such fan and has heartily endorsed the collection, which is how I had heard of it. While somewhat familiar with Hall's poems (less so his children's books and criticism), I had a hard time mustering up much excitement for most of these short snippets on a wide variety of t...
  • Michael
    There are many things I liked and enjoyed about this book - having just finished it, I find it difficult to try to organize a suitable short explanation of why I enjoyed. One comment would simply be that I am a typical (I fear) individual who only occasionally reads a poem or feels much affinity for poetry, but there is much here that does not require an enthusiasm for poetry.. While reading the book, I looked up some of Mr. Hall's other works an...
  • Rachel Watkins
    Reading Hall's A CARNIVAL OF LOSSES is like a visit with an old friend. The essays run the gamut from his opinion on the resurgence of beards to the origin story for his infamous children's book, OX-CART MAN, which was originally a poem. Antidotes about dinner parties with T. S. Eliot., driving around Oregon with James Dickey, or how Theodore Roethke was a self-serving operator are in stark contrast to as essay entitled "Losing My Teeth" in which...
  • Sandy Lane
    A genuine portrayal of life lived as an aged author and poet. Real and painful to read at times when he describes the aging that is inevitable to the rest of us. Sweet and funny most other times as we wonder if he will make it to 90.
  • Karen
    Beautiful <3
  • Lara
    Brings beauty and humor to aging and mortality.
  • Joan Lieberman
    Humorously truthful about the often degrading nature of joining the elderly frail tribe, Donald Hall, reminds his readers of what lies ahead for all of us whether we are young, middle-aged or moving past seventy. While painting a perspective portrait of how life naturally narrows, he also provides a resume-like review of other poets he has known and admired. Living alone in the house once occupied by his great grandfather, Donald Hall is still mo...
  • RMazin
    Donald Hall shows the rest of us what talent, tenacity and thought can produce from a treasured US poet laureate, now in his nineties. He mines his memory to reflect upon events and people in a way that is often poignant and funny. Slyly, he includes a section on poets that he has admired who may not have received the accolades they deserved when alive. Slyly, because, I will go and seek out their works – just as Mr. Hall intended! As always, h...