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The Book of Marvels

A Compendium of Everyday Things

Regular price $19.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781926812755
  • Tags: Literary Non-Fiction, Lorna Crozier,
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.5
  • Published On: 08/10/2012
  • 144 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781926812762
  • Tags: Literary Non-Fiction, Lorna Crozier,
  • Published On: 10/08/2012
  • 144 Pages

A Globe and Mail top 100 book of 2012

In a series of playful and startling prose meditations, celebrated writer Lorna Crozier brings her rapt attention to the small matter of household objects: everything from doorknobs, washing machines, rakes, and zippers to the kitchen sink.

Operating as a sort of literary detective, she examines the mystery of the everyday, seeking the essence of each object. She offers tantalizing glimpses of the household's inhabitants, too, probing hearts, brains, noses, and navels. Longing, exuberance, and grief colour her reflections, which at times take on the tenor of folktales or parables.

Each of the short portraits in The Book of Marvels stands alone, but the connections are intricate; as in life, each object gains meaning from its juxtaposition with others. Crozier approaches her investigations with a childlike curiosity, an adult bemusement, and an unfailing sense of metaphor and mischief. With both charm and mordant wit, she animates the panoply of wonders to be found everywhere around us and inside us.

Lorna Crozier has received numerous awards, including the Governor General's Award, for her fifteen books of poetry, which include The Blue Hour of the Day, What the Living Won't Let Go, Everything Arrives at the Light, and Inventing the Hawk. She is also the author of the memoir Small Beneath the Sky and the editor of several anthologies. She lives in Saanich, British Columbia.


"Lorna Crozier raises the objects of everyday life into things of alien beauty. Each page opens onto a new marvel." -Esi Edugyan

"Lorna Crozier takes great pleasure in the world and her pleasure becomes ours. This book knows a great truth; that nothing is known until it is held: in our hands, or our mind, or our heart." -Anne Michaels

"Crozier masterfully animates an array of wonders that can be found everywhere around us and inside of our souls." -Toronto Quarterly

"Crozier, an award-winning author of 16 books of poetry as well as a memoir, plays with words and takes delightful flights into fiction and folklore. As much as this compendium is an honouring of everyday things, it is a celebration of the intricacies of the mind and heart." -Mary Ann Moore, Vancouver Sun

"Crozier's delivery is equal parts pithy and pathos . . . She writes about inanimate objects as if they had inner worlds, as if by interacting with them, we visit their abodes, inhabit their longstanding places." -Stevie Howell, National Post

"In her descriptions, Crozier gives the inanimate objects that surround us more than character, she gives them agency. They even seem, by times, to be conspirators in our intimacies, anthropomorphic abettors in our sneaky, strange human maneuvers." -Kate Wallace, Telegraph-Journal

"A delightful new book . . . told with that inimitable Crozier combination of mischief and exuberance, longing and grief . . . Cousin to both Nerudaís Odes to Common Things and Ponge's Le parti pris des choses, The Book of Marvels is an irresistible invitation to sit up and take notice, to pay attention to every random thing, to never forget . . . From here on in, it will be impossible to be bored or take anything for granted ever again. And for that, we can be forever grateful to Lorna Crozier . . . " -Globe & Mail

"Poet Lorna Crozier's The Book of Marvels, A Compendium of Everyday Things, is an ideal book to save for the Christmas stockings of people who love words and humour." -Toronto Star