*Walking Distance on NPR: Download or listen (free) to a "Modern Love" podcast featuring Emmy-nominated actor Sterling K. Brown reading "My First Son, A Pure Memory." The essay, first published in The New York Times in 2008, is a central chapter of Walking Distance
Publisher: Michigan State University Press, 2015
Paperback: 136 pages
“Beautifully written. Moving, elegant, funny, and deeply human.”
- Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing,
Devotion and Slow Motion
"Every year mothers and fathers experience the painful loss of a child through either miscarriage or stillbirth. Too often this loss is shuttled away, spoken of only in hushed tones, if spoken of at all. Yet those children matter as much to the parents as the children who survive, who live.
Walking Distance takes on the hard task of retelling what it was like for Lisa Holtby and her husband, the author, David Hlavsa, when they lose their first child, James, to a stillbirth.
In prose that is both deft and honest, Hlavsa crafts a narrative that ushers us into the immediacy of that event and its aftermath. Somehow he manages to put language to the unnamable, to make us turn from our weeping so we may see what is behind that weeping, to consider how such events transform us.
Hlavsa writes in the tradition of Anne Lamott, Bill Bryson, and Kathleen Norris, and readers who value books by these authors should hurry to get a copy of Walking Distance."
- Todd F. Davis, winner of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry
Prize, author of In the Kingdom of the Ditch,
The Least of These, and Household of Water, Moon,
and Snow: The Thoreau Poems