Description - The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler
The Wishing Year is a captivating memoir of one woman's courageous year-long journey to make her most fervent wishes come true. Taking stock of her life one New Year's Day, Noelle Oxenhandler found it sadly wanting. And so, stifling her doubts, she brazenly launched three wishes into the universe: for a new love, a healed soul and a place to call home. So begins both a journey of self-discovery and a mystical exploration of the quintessentially human art of wishing - from primeval magic to contemporary belief in the 'law of attraction'. Ultimately, as Oxenhandler's wishes start to come true, she discovers both the power of wishing and the truth behind the cautionary adage 'Be careful what you wish for'. Delightfully candid, insightful and ripe with promise, The Wishing Year will inspire even the most sceptical reader to wish upon a star.
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(198mm x 132mm x 23mm)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers (Division of Random House Australia)
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Book Reviews - The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler
US Kirkus Review »
Middle-aged woman asks the universe for everything she wants and is met with mixed results.Oxenhandler (Creative Writing/Sonoma State Univ.; The Eros of Parenthood, 2001, etc.) mines her quotidian ups and downs during a 12-month period with the exacting honesty and hopefulness of a Buddhist Anne Lamott. At the beginning of the year, the author articulates exactly what she wishes for at the behest of her friend Carole, an eccentric artist in possession of four homes (three of them in France) who usually "finds a way to acquire" everything she wants. Oxenhandler's chief desires are to own a house and find a romantic partner. Over the next several months, she undertakes everything from building shrines in the likeness of her individual wishes to reading a vast array of books on the subject of manifesting desire. As a practicing Buddhist, she has long eschewed the open hunger for material things; her shift on this subject comprises one of the book's more interesting aspects. Doors begin to open: She has an opportunity to buy the house she's been renting in northern California, and she meets a man who possesses every quality she'd hoped for in a mate. The greatest challenge here involves maintaining the reader's interest, which may wane in the absence of any major dramatic tension. Descriptions of myriad encounters with friends too plentiful to name sometimes grate, as does Oxenhandler's freehanded way with quotations. The chapter in which she tries to "wish away a wart" is hardly engrossing. Ultimately, though, following her through a generally successful year, readers come away with the feeling that there's something wonderfully quixotic about her belief in the power of wishing. An oddball but endearing combination of meticulous research and winsome enthusiasm. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Noelle Oxenhandler
Noelle Oxenhandler is a long-time contributor to The New Yorker and her work has appeared in many other national and literary magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, VOGUE, and O Magazine. She has practised and studied Buddhism for over thirty years. Her essays, which have been frequently anthologised, have been listed in The Best Essays of The Year and twice included in The Best Spiritual Essays of the Year. She has edited and authored several works of nonfiction in the US. She lives in northern California and is the mother of a grown daughter.