Winter Solstice:

An Essay

A celebration and meditation on the season for drinking hot chocolate, spotting a wreath on a neighbor’s door, experiencing the change in light of shorter days. All aspects of Winter, from the meteorological to the mythological, are captured in this masterful essay, told in wise and luminous prose that pushes back the dark.

Winter begins with the shortest day of the year before nightfall. As in the companion volume, Summer Solstice, the author meditates on both the dark and the light and what this season means in our lives.

“Winter tells us,” Nina MacLaughlin says, “more than petaled spring, or hot-grassed summer, or fall with its yellow leaves, that we are mortal. In the frankness of its cold, in the mystery of its deep-blue dark, the place in us that knows of death is tickled, focused, stoked. The angels sing on the doorknobs and others sing from the abyss. The sun has been in retreat since June, and the heat inside glows brighter in proportion to its absence. We make up for the lost light in the spark that burns inside us.”

If Winter is a time you love for its memories and traditions, if you love writing that takes your breath away with lyrical leaps across time and space, Winter Solstice is an unforgettable book you’ll cherish.

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake Siren: Ovid Resung and the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head. Formerly an editor at The Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for The Boston Globe.