The following info was sent to the Bloomingtonian:
The Book of (More) Delights
From bestselling author of The Book of Delights and award-winning poet Ross
Gay, a fresh new volume of lyrical mini-essays celebrating the everyday that
will inspire readers to rediscover the joys in the world around us.
The author of the New York Times bestselling The Book of Delights is back with Volume
II. In this spirited second collection of short, lyrical, genre-defying essays, again
written daily over a year, one of America’s most original and observant voices
celebrates the ordinary, helping us see our extraordinary world anew. Delights: Book II
is a record of the small wonders we so often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay’s
funny, poetic, philosophical delights: bonding with a pipsqueak of a puppy, observing
how his mother bakes 18 kinds of cookies before her grandchildren arrive, the
tenderness he feels when he sees an adult wearing braces, or even the
acknowledgment that often for him the preamble is more delightful than the thing
itself: “putting on your socks and tying up your shoes, and, if you’re the type, filling up
your water bottle and doing some light stretching, but skipping the walk entirely.”
In essays that can be at once intimate and political, Gay shows us why he has made
the subject as Black joy his own. Even as he practices delight, he doesn’t shy away
from complexities of racism in America or the ecological and psychic violence of our
consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything else, though, Gay
reveals the beauty of the natural world—the garden, the orchard, the flowers emerging
from cracks in the sidewalk, the elegant movements of geese tending to their goslings,
and the trillion mysteries of this glorious earth.
Ross Gay is the New York Times bestselling author of the essay collections The Book
of Delights and Inciting Joy and four books of poetry. His Catalog of Unabashed
Gratitude won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry
Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and in 2022 was named an NEA Big
Read title; and Be Holding won the 2021 PEN America Jean Stein Book Award. Gay is
a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit,
free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project and has received fellowships from Cave
Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at Indiana University.
“Keenly observed and delivered with deftness, these essays are a testament to the artfulness of attention and everyday joy.”
―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on The Book of (More) Delights
“Poet, essayist, and author of The Book of Delights (2019), Gay returns post-pandemic with another startling, sensuous collection of miniature essays
about some ‘fleeting sweetnesses’ that he savored over the course of a year.”
―Booklist (starred review) on The Book of (More) Delights
“What I love most about [The Book of Delights], and what I love about so much of Ross Gay’s work is that it gently nudges us to take note of those small things that might otherwise elude our attention.
I am indebted to this bookfor reminding me, reminding us, that there is so much to celebrate in the world. It is not that we should ignore the moments that are painful, but that we should hold those small moments of joy alongside the.”
―Clint Smith, bestselling author of How the Word is Passed, on The Book of Delights
Until recently, Ross Gay was predominantly known as a highly decorated and accomplished poet whose accolades included a National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award finalist distinction. With his first prose title, The Book of Delights, he struck a collective chord in short essays that celebrated the often unexamined but profound pleasures of daily life, even amid the enormous challenges of our contemporary world. The collection, which inspired an episode of This American Life, has sold well over 150,000 copies and continues to appear on the New York Times and Indie bestseller lists.
Adept at making a bounty out of the everyday, Gay again gives voice to the human desire for joy with THE BOOK OF (MORE) DELIGHTS: Essays (Publication date: September 19, 2023; $28.00), a timely reminder that delight exists all around us, if we take the time to look for it. And even as he acknowledges racism, consumerism, climate change, and individual pain—the forces that endanger joy—he shows us that our shared sorrow can bring us together. These new essays, also written over the course of a year, are resonant and linguistically exquisite―required reading for anyone who has ever had a bad day. Which is to say, all of us.
For Gay, what delights us is what connects us, what gives us meaning, from the joy of dancing a little bit with strangers to good songs in the supermarket to the simple pleasure of a potluck supper; from the tenderness Gay feels when he sees an adult wearing braces to the kindness he witnesses when a community bands together to search for a lost cat; from the check-out kid at the co-op with pink hair and a concert shirt showing him a magic trick to the fun of browsing through a beautifully curated bookstore. As always, Gay revels in the natural world—sweet potatoes being harvested, a hummingbird carousing in the beebalm, a sunflower growing out of a wall around the cemetery, the shared bounty from a neighbor’s fig tree—and the trillion mysterious ways this glorious Earth delights us.
Yet as much as these joyous essays proclaim yes; they at times declare no—because for Gay, practicing delight can also be an act of defiance in a broken world. “We’ve been mandated, over the past several years, to be suspicious of one another,” Gay writes. “To regard each other as potential vectors of doom. These essays refuse that, and refuse those who would convince us to do so, by wondering instead, and sometimes militantly, what if we regarded each other as potential vectors of delight? To the best of their ability, they do so by trying to notice what there is to love. We do not sing about what delights us, what we love, only for ourselves. It’s for each other that we sing about what we love.”
For his many fans eagerly awaiting this new volume, Gay once again offers us “literature that feels as fluent and familiar as a chat with a close friend (The New York Review of Books). We hope you agree that THE BOOK OF (MORE) DELIGHTS is a collection to savor and share.