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Time Lived, Without Its Flow


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A beautiful, short philosophical memoir of maternal loss and grief, for readers of Max Porter and Helen MacDonald.

About the Author

Denise Riley is a critically acclaimed writer of both philosophy and poetry. She is currently Professor of the History of Ideas and of Poetry at UEA. Her visiting positions have included A.D. White Professor at Cornell University in the US, Writer in Residence at the Tate Gallery in London, and Visiting Fellow at Birkbeck College in the University of London. She has taught philosophy, art history, poetics, and creative writing. She is the author of Say Something Back and lives in London.


She's a poet whose work . . . never fails to convince new readers with its intelligence, wit and emotion * The Times *
A terrific talent. -- Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy
Her strengths are so varied: notice one quality you admire, and another follows hard behind. Riley is an enormously gifted writer. -- Fiona Sampson, Guardian
An astonishing, eloquent examination of grief, but also of stasis and disrupted time in the face of loss. This book contains far more depth and enlightenment than its slim volume suggests, as it contemplates and rages, moves and soothes. Magnificent. -- Sinead Gleeson, author of Constellations
Riley, one of the most eloquent thinkers about our life in language, had long 'believed that thought is made in the mouth'. Suddenly, it is locked in . . . This almost unbearably crystalline essay, first published in 2012, recounts how death smashed her sense of how the world works. * The Sunday Times *
A precise and elegant exploration of what happens to time after a grievous loss. I felt a little wiser for having read it. -- Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love
A very short book about time and loss, living and telling, that immeasurably expanded my sense of each of those things. -- David Hayden, TLS
To those of us who feared words might not be enough, Time Lived, Without Its Flow delivers its kind riposte. A manifesto for the unbroken promise of language, for a literature of consolation, and above all for empathy, it is a book about listening closely (to oneself and others), a call to the radical, ordinary act of being with: to say with your whole heart, not 'I can't imagine what you're feeling', but 'I can imagine'. -- Emily Berry, author of Dear Boy
Time Lived, Without Its Flow derives its immense power from its combination of emotional immediacy and intellectual rigour. To read it is to feel your heart breaking and your neurons firing at the same time. -- Mark O'Connell, author of To Be A Machine
A dark jewel of a book in which the mysterious reversals of a life-in-grief are laid bare in language that is both elegantly precise and courageously blunt. -- Katherine Towers, author of The Remedies
Her writing is perfectly weighted, justifies its existence . . . remarkable * Guardian *
The only thing I have read that gets close to the experience of loss and the way in which it suspends our entire, usual understanding of time. A wonderful piece of work -- Simon Critchley, author of Faith of the Faithless

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