The Moon, Come to Earth
Dispatches From LisboneBook - 2009
A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.
In "The Moon, Come to Earth, " Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on "McSweeneyOCOs," an exuberant yet introspective account of a yearOCOs sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and knowing; though heOCOs unquestionably not a tourist, at the same time he knows he will never be a local. So his lyrical accounts reveal his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an awkward meeting with Nobel laureate Jos(r) Saramago, being trapped in a budding soccer riot, and his daughterOCOs challenging transition to adolescence while attending a Portuguese schoolOCobut he also waxes loving about PortugalOCOs "saudade"-drenched music, its inventive cuisine, and its vibrant literary culture. And through his humorous, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to know Graham himself, and his wife and daughter, so that when an unexpected crisis hits his family, we canOCOt help but ache alongside them.
A thoughtful, finely wrought celebration of the moment-to-moment excitement of diving deep into another culture and confronting oneOCOs secret selves, "The Moon, Come to Earth" is literary travel writing of a rare intimacy and immediacy. "