LIU Literary Award
Flesh and Stones: Field Notes From A Finite World
"Travelogue and family album, tour of heart and tour de force--with Flesh and Stones, we are alerted to an astonishing work in words. Jan Shoemaker crafts essays that tell the rare and contrarian facts of life with apparent ease, uncanny authenticity."
--Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking
"Jan Shoemaker may be the finest crafter of sentences working in the essay today. Her prose displays remarkable humor and wit, an intelligence that never grows brittle because it is based on a lively reading and teaching life and placed in the service of life’s imponderable questions. Her probing of our common mysteries and her affection for others opens great depths of feeling as well. In Flesh and Stones heart and mind and words meet."
--Steven Harvey, author of a memoir, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder
"Jan Shoemaker leads you into the darkness (a mother dying of Alzheimer's, another faithful dog gone, the stark recognition that we get to keep nothing we love in this world), and then lets in the light, shows you the dance of the sun on the water, and says something so funny, so perfect, you'll just have to laugh. Together, you will move into the questions that matter: When you can't be the person you want to be, what then? Together, you will remember that our largest lives are lived in the tinniest moments"
--Jill Christman, author of Darkroom, A Family Exposure