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Tower: Faith, Vertigo, And Amateur Construction
(Bill Henderson)

Against all logic, Bill Henderson travels to Maine in search of a quiescent state of mind. The editor of Pushcart Press is a married middle-aged man who has just completed his memoirs and is now searching for... what? A tower. His own tower. This compulsion to create a space of fortified solitude is an impulse that is as equally mysterious to the writer/builder himself as to the reader. This curious book is a hodgepodge of details of some of the most acute personal events of his life, the practical construction of a tower from the allocation of a plot of land to the ideal decor for a tower and a scattered history of tower raising. It is a meditation on the compulsive need for solitude in a world where religion falls short of answering our metaphysical questions. The details of the tower''s construction are threaded with Henderson''s anecdotal accounts and justifications for the project. Illustrations of the tower he builds and various historical towers are scattered throughout the book. Unfortunately, he spends a tad too long summarizing the major points of his two previous memoirs instead of digging into new areas of his literary and personal life. Far from solving the problem of why he wants to build his own tower, this book is a testament to the impulsive desires of our lives. It is meant not only as a practical guide to building your own tower but dealing with the oddities of individual existence. Like Thoreau''s Walden, this book is a novel, memoir, philosophical essay and social commentary touching upon universal issues through a moving personal account.

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