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Wherever I Wander
Impassio Press, Seattle, Wa.
2004, 302 pages
When I picked up Judith Azrael’s collection of essays, I wondered if this would be another memoir by another lyrical questing Buddhist watching the self in stillness and motion. After all, that “I” in the title portends self-involvement.
Instead, this reader entered a world of meticulous attention to the other. Azreal constructs clear portraits of the other consciousnesses — people, animals, environments — that she encounters. The author spends her words carefully, crafting details that compose places; her writing is grounded in sensual information. Though she reveals herself ever so gradually, the real focus of the book is on the other, whether that other is an abandoned baby seal, a group of prisoners, a house or the sea.
Review by L. Peat O’Neil
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