Winner of the National Book Award and the author of numerous highly praised works of fiction and nonfiction, Ellen Gilchrist is also a daughter, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who takes delight in her large, wonderful family. Things like the Truth offers a collection of nonfiction essays about Ellen Gilchrist's life, family, home, work, aging, and the fun of fighting to stay healthy in an increasingly undisciplined culture. This collection brings together for the first time essays by Ellen Gilchrist on her later life and family. Essays such as "The Joy of Swimming" reveal how Gilchrist, as an aging person, thinks about the joys one can discover late in life. Other essays focus on surgery, money, childhood memories, changing perspectives, and the vagaries of the age. Gilchrist pays special attention to her evolving relationships with her adult children and the pleasures and pitfalls of being a grandmother and great-grandmother. The volume also includes essays from her diary about the sense of place in her mountain home near her work at the University of Arkansas and about life after Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, her second residence.
Reviewers have praised Gilchrist's "deliciously wise and humorous voice" in her stories and that same voice pours forth in these essays. Gilchrist takes delight in the foibles of human behavior and searches for the humor and wisdom in every situation. She also loves to give advice, and happily dispenses guidance to fans, family, and anyone in a grocery store line. This collection of essays presents Gilchrist at her best. Engaging, funny, and fearless, she describes the joys and difficulties of a well-lived life. Her fans will devour these essays and will revel again in the company of an author they know so well. Both personal and profound, with plenty of humor, this collection allows Gilchrist's inimitable spirit to shine throughout.