11 a.m. | McIntyre's Books
The Only Sounds We Make is a memoir in the form of personal essays that is deeply concerned with the way language, image, and memory give a life coherence and meaning. Fascinated by the natural world, Zacharias turns to creatures whose language we cannot fathom, from spiders to vultures to dogs, and the mute record of the land through time, to discover what those powers mean. These thirteen deeply metaphorical essays are both intensely personal and vitally concerned with the larger world, including the kingdom beyond our ken. Exploring subjects as diverse as her father’s suicide, the great migration that changed the racial composition of Chicago’s south side, the nature of light, and the geology of the Grand Canyon, Zacharias writes with grace, precision, and candor about the experiences that shape our humanity and our relationships, to our parents, to our children, and to past, present, and future.
Lee Zacharias was born in Chicago. A graduate of Indiana University, Hollins College, and the University of Arkansas, she has taught at Princeton University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where for a decade she edited The Greensboro Review. She has held writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Her first novel, Lessons, won North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh Award, her second novel, At Random, was a finalist in literary fiction for both the 2013 International Book Award and the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award, and her nonfiction, which has appeared in such journals as Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review, has been reprinted in The Best American Essays. She is a photographer as well as the author of three books of fiction and a forthcoming book of nonfiction.