The Wink of the Zenith


The Wink of the Zenith

The Shaping of a Writer's Life

Floyd Skloot

256 pages


December 2011


$16.95 Add to Cart

September 2008


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In his three previous memoirs, Floyd Skloot grappled with the brain-ravaging virus that struck him at forty-one. He was, as the San Francisco Chronicle noted, “shaping the experience of crippling illness into dazzling literature.” Sifting through memories and observations to discover how circumstance and nature conspired to make him the writer he is, Skloot enacts in this book the very process he describes, the shaping of a writer’s life. Among the influences of family and close friendship, experience and popular culture, he uncovers a unique and telling perspective on the forging of a writer’s individual sensibility. At the same time, his book explores fundamental questions about how life shapes the creative spirit—and how, in turn, the writer makes sense of it all and gives life a new and meaningful shape in the form of literature.

Author Bio

Floyd Skloot is the author of five books of fiction, seven collections of poetry, a collection of essays, and three previous memoirs including In the Shadow of Memory and A World of Light, both available in Bison Books editions. He is the winner of three Pushcart Prizes, the most recent for his essay “The Voice of the Past,” which appears in The Wink of the Zenith.

Table of Contents



Part One: Home Economics for Halfbacks

1. Going, Going, Gone  

2. The Wink of the Zenith    

3. The Summer of the Vampire 

4. Cover Stories 

5. Home Economics for Halfbacks    

Part Two: When the Clock Stops

6. When the Clock Stops

7. Into a Maelstrom of Fire: On Having a Feeling for Thomas Hardy

8. Echo Lark     

9. Numbers 

10. Running After My Father  

Part Three: Travels in Lavender and Light

11. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered   

12. The Voice of the Past    

13. Shine On     

14. Travels in Lavender and Light  

15. Jambon Dreams

16. Flesh and Fortune: Coming Back to Measure for Measure  

Epilogue: Silence the Pianos 


The Wink of the Zenith includes Skloot’s Pushcart Prize–winning essay “The Voice of the Past” 2009 Oregon Book Awards: Finalist in the Creative Nonfiction category.

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