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The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace
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About the Author

STEVEN NIGHTINGALE is the author of two novels and six books of sonnets, as well as numerous essays. His poetry has been widely anthologized, and he has taught poetry in more than fifty schools and universities. He lives in Woodside, California, with his family.

Reviews

Praise for Hot Climate of Promises and Grace "Nightingale's transcendent collection offers 64 vignettes, with a nod to folktales, which explore the wonder, grace, and humor of life and the many paths within and around it... Inquisitive and surreal, Nightingale's imaginative tales extend into the recesses of mind and spirit as his characters grapple with life's moral and metaphysical questions."--Booklist "With the concision of a poet and the expansiveness of a true storyteller, Steven Nightingale has fashioned a wonderful collection of gem-like tales, all of them told by, about, or through women around the world and across time. Their voices are resonant, their stories incredibly varied. They bring to mind the interconnected stories of Henri Michaux and the mosaic structure of One Thousand and One Nights. This is a journey of revelations to be read and reread." --Nicholas Christopher, author of On Jupiter Place and A Trip to the Stars "Each woman in Steven Nightingale's The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace is strong, idiosyncratic, certain, and, in most cases, in possession of a kind of work in which she excels. Together they form a chorus. The book becomes a creaed, as radical as it is ancient. It offers an assessment of the state of the world. It celebrates the co-creating power of work on oneself. And it is an invitation to see that paradise is in the world and to move toward it." --Mary Rakow, author of This Is Why I Came and The Memory Room "These gem-like tales form a kind of love song to the feminine principle, that aspect of each of us that is irrational, untamed, and intuitive. Although this principle is always under threat from logic and order, Steven Nightingale illustrates some of the ways in which it can flare up and illuminate the darkness." --Lisa Alther, author of Kinflicks and About Women "Within each story is a lesson worth learning. The depth of wisdom comes forth and holds you in her hand until you laugh or your jaw drops open in amazement. Using both the glory and the mystery of religion, these stories explore the minds of women and tell you the wonder of a man who loves them." --The Reverend Canon Sally G. Bingham, president of The Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power & Light "A brilliant and cunning collection of found and fashioned stories, marvelously told/written. Like Michel Tournier but with more range- I was hooked from the first line." -- Robert Twigger, author of Red Nile and Walk "Charming in the way of Coelho, Nightingale's work is proof of a life lived with both ears open, one to the lives and stories around him and one to what readers want and need to hear." --Tupelo Hassman, Author of Girl Child "Hot Climate of Promises and Grace, speaks to us about women in the 'heartland of their labor' and in their empires of dreams and sorrows. These women are makers of lives and dreams who change the universe one day at a time for their children, their brothers, sisters and the men willing to work with them to make those changes. In these pages you can travel through time, to places around the world, as well as to the souls, minds and bodies of these women to uncover what you want to believe in, and yet to accept the idea that perhaps they may be "doing the right thing, the wrong way." Steve Nightingale, has set music to the dance and it is impossible not to join these incredible voices of the stories in the eternal dreamy rhythm of life. He shows us " an unabashed joy about what is possible in life," if we walk side-by-side and listen carefully to the dreams offered by the women in these stories. A must read for the lovers of fascinating, magical story telling."--Emma Sepulveda-Pulvirenti, author of Do You Hear My Accent When I Write? and Death to Silence Praise for Granada "His book is not only a memoir of one family's communion with a dream house, it's the unearthing of a long-buried dream of civic harmony, a reawakening. Even if you have visited Granada and walked the labyrinthine ways of the Albayzin, Nightingale makes you want to go there again, to see it with new eyes."--New York Times Book Review "An exuberant and beautifully written book and as packed with information as a pomegranate is with seeds...Nightingale possesses a keen tactile sense of the place; his approach is refreshingly sensuous."--Wall Street Journal "Armchair travel enthusiasts and those who are interested in Spanish and Islamic history will enjoy this tale."--Library Journal "[I]n poetic prose, ...Nightingale's intimate reflections and succulent style present a textured picture of the city and its people, culture, and antiquity. Armchair travelers will find themselves easily lured through the portals of history hidden in brick and mortar, tiles and tilled gardens." --Publishers Weekly ..".rhapsodic paean to the Spanish city...A romantic...homage to a city "perfected by catastrophe" and transformed into a place of "concentrated joy.""--Kirkus ..".an unabashed love song to Granada...a fascinating historical overview..."--Booklist "Steven Nightingale's Granada: A Pomegranate in the Hand of God is the rarest delight -- a book that is as wise as it is vibrant and alive. To read its pages is to be transported back in time through centuries, interwoven with folklore, history and with the dreams of mankind. I recommend this book most highly. It opens a window into a magical world, an Andalucian garden all of its own, one inspired by Paradise." -- Tahir Shah, Author of The Caliph's House "One of the delicious literary genres is the book about a writer's love affair with a city. Mary McCarthy's Stones of Florence and Edmund White's Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris come to mind. Steven Nightingale's Granada takes its place in that radiant company." --Robert Hass, author of What Light Can Do and The Apple Trees at Olema "In flowing precise poetic speech, Stephen Nightingale bequeaths us the beautiful and tragic essence of Spanish history, philosophy and literature, ...None since Gerald Brenan in the 50's has so lovingly mastered Spain in its Gothic, Muslim, Jewish, and Spanish faces. Who reads this book relives all Iberia, from medieval convivencia to Franco nightmare. El cante hondo, the deep song persists. A profound delight." --Willis Barnstone, author of Sunday Morning in Fascist Spain "Opening Steven Nightingale's lyrical Granada is to split a pomegranate that pours out a galaxy of seeds. Take the book with you to a garden. There, as you read, the seeds will give forth branches of poetry, music, science, mathematics, philosophy, agriculture, medicine, and all the marvels of Andalusia. Twining, they stretch up toward the brilliant sun--maybe beyond, to the divine. Yet even as they transport you on their various journeys they remain rooted in a family garden in Granada--a beautiful garden that, thanks to the author, you will know and love as he does." --Thomas Christensen, author of 1616: The World in Motion "This is a highly sensitively written book written by a very fortunate American author who records his visit to Andalusia (Spain) with his family to discover the immense gift to civilization the earlier Spanish community has been. I can certainly recommend this book to all who have yet to learn how vibrant and productive the integration of Judaism, Christianity and Islam can be." --Keith Critchlow, author of Islamic Patterns and The Hidden Geometry of Flowers "This beautiful book is a love story: that of, first, a young family falling hopelessly in love with an old house in the medieval quarter of Granada, and their painstaking restoration of the house and its gardens....But this is also a story of what love can do when various peoples put aside differences and work together: for nearly eight centuries, from 711 to 1492, Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in productive, collaborative harmony, translating one another's holy texts and sharing collective wisdoms, from literature to algorithmic logic to color theory. Thanks to Steven Nightingale's glorious and inspiring book we can glimpse what life might become were we not plagued, as we are in these modern times, by religious fundamentalism and hyper mechanized tools of war." --Jane Vandenburgh, author of The Wrong Dog Dream "Each page of this deeply personal book is a revelation, and a confirmation that darkness is never permanent. Darkness begets beauty. Nightingale writes that conviction into every sentence." --Robert Leonard Reid, author of Arctic Circle and Mountains of the Great Blue Dream "Granada... is a primordial history of Andalusia, the rose and the magdalena, the throne and the cross--but more than these, it is a sinuous and searching biography of the heart of southern Spain. Nightingale has woven us in its antiquarian spell...like Garcia Lorca, Nightingale summons the duende, the creative force that emanates from this sorrow, so that in the end, this book is really a testament to what can be possible with the spiritual attainment of peace. I cannot remember the last time I have read a story that is literally blood and truth born across two millennia of human understanding. Like a wind from the Sufi masters, it will shake the most austere and humane alike." --Shaun T. Griffin, author of This is What the Desert Surrenders Praise for Hot Climate of Promises and Grace "Nightingale's transcendent collection offers 64 vignettes, with a nod to folktales, which explore the wonder, grace, and humor of life and the many paths within and around it... Inquisitive and surreal, Nightingale's imaginative tales extend into the recesses of mind and spirit as his characters grapple with life's moral and metaphysical questions."--Booklist "A brilliant and cunning collection of found and fashioned stories, marvelously told/written. Like Michel Tournier but with more range- I was hooked from the first line." -- Robert Twigger, author of Red Nile and Walk "These gem-like tales form a kind of love song to the feminine principle, that aspect of each of us that is irrational, untamed, and intuitive. Although this principle is always under threat from logic and order, Steven Nightingale illustrates some of the ways in which it can flare up and illuminate the darkness. The Hot Climate is an amazing collection of intriguing vignettes full of humor, wisdom, and sensuality. Anyone who loves a good laugh - or the flashes of penetrating insight offered by the unexpected behavior of wild, tender, and cunning women -- will want to read them." --Lisa Alther, author of Kinflicks and About Women "Charming in the way of Coelho, Nightingale's work is proof of a life lived with both ears open, one to the lives and stories around him and one to what readers want and need to hear." --Tupelo Hassman, Author of Girl Child" "The imagination and creativity in Steve Nightingale's The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace cannot be surpassed. Within each story is a lesson worth learning. The depth of wisdom comes forth and holds you in her hand until you laugh or your jaw drops open in amazement. Using both the glory and the mystery of religion, these stories explore the minds of women and tell you the wonder of a man who loves them." --The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, president of The Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power & Light "With the concision of a poet and the expansiveness of a true storyteller, Steven Nightingale has fashioned a wonderful collection of gem-like tales, all of them told by, about, or through women around the world and across time. Their voices are resonant, their stories incredibly varied. They bring to mind the interconnected stories of Henri Michaux and the mosaic structure of the 'Thousand and One Nights.' This is a journey of revelations to be read and reread."--Nicholas Christopher "Each woman in Steven Nightingale's The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace is strong, idiosyncratic, certain, and, in most cases, in possession of a kind of work in which she excels. Together they form a chorus. The book becomes a creed, as radical as it is ancient. It offers an assessment of the state of the world. It celebrates the co-creating power of work on oneself. And it is an invitation to see that paradise is in the world and to move toward it."--Mary Rakow, author of This is Why I Came and The Memory Room "Hot Climate of Promises and Grace, speaks to us about women in the "heartland of their labor" and in their empires of dreams and sorrows. These women are makers of lives and dreams who change the universe one day at a time for their children, their brothers, sisters and the men willing to work with them to make those changes. In these pages you can travel through time, to places around the world, as well as to the souls, minds and bodies of these women to uncover what you want to believe in, and yet to accept the idea that perhaps they may be "doing the right thing, the wrong way." Steve Nightingale, has set music to the dance and it is impossible not to join these incredible voices of the stories in the eternal dreamy rhythm of life. He shows us " an unabashed joy about what is possible in life," if we walk side-by-side and listen carefully to the dreams offered by the women in these stories. A must read for the lovers of fascinating, magical story telling."--Emma Sepulveda-Pulvirenti, author of Do You Hear My Accent When I Write? and Death to Silence Praise for Granada "His book is not only a memoir of one family's communion with a dream house, it's the unearthing of a long-buried dream of civic harmony, a reawakening. Even if you have visited Granada and walked the labyrinthine ways of the Albayzin, Nightingale makes you want to go there again, to see it with new eyes."--New York Times Book Review "An exuberant and beautifully written book and as packed with information as a pomegranate is with seeds...Nightingale possesses a keen tactile sense of the place; his approach is refreshingly sensuous."--Wall Street Journal "Armchair travel enthusiasts and those who are interested in Spanish and Islamic history will enjoy this tale."--Library Journal "[I]n poetic prose, ...Nightingale's intimate reflections and succulent style present a textured picture of the city and its people, culture, and antiquity. Armchair travelers will find themselves easily lured through the portals of history hidden in brick and mortar, tiles and tilled gardens." --Publishers Weekly ..".rhapsodic paean to the Spanish city...A romantic...homage to a city "perfected by catastrophe" and transformed into a place of "concentrated joy.""--Kirkus ..".an unabashed love song to Granada...a fascinating historical overview..."--Booklist "Steven Nightingale's Granada: A Pomegranate in the Hand of God is the rarest delight -- a book that is as wise as it is vibrant and alive. To read its pages is to be transported back in time through centuries, interwoven with folklore, history and with the dreams of mankind. I recommend this book most highly. It opens a window into a magical world, an Andalucian garden all of its own, one inspired by Paradise." -- Tahir Shah, Author of The Caliph's House "One of the delicious literary genres is the book about a writer's love affair with a city. Mary McCarthy's Stones of Florence and Edmund White's Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris come to mind. Steven Nightingale's Granada takes its place in that radiant company." --Robert Hass, author of What Light Can Do and The Apple Trees at Olema "In flowing precise poetic speech, Stephen Nightingale bequeaths us the beautiful and tragic essence of Spanish history, philosophy and literature, ...None since Gerald Brenan in the 50's has so lovingly mastered Spain in its Gothic, Muslim, Jewish, and Spanish faces. Who reads this book relives all Iberia, from medieval convivencia to Franco nightmare. El cante hondo, the deep song persists. A profound delight." --Willis Barnstone, author of Sunday Morning in Fascist Spain "Opening Steven Nightingale's lyrical Granada is to split a pomegranate that pours out a galaxy of seeds. Take the book with you to a garden. There, as you read, the seeds will give forth branches of poetry, music, science, mathematics, philosophy, agriculture, medicine, and all the marvels of Andalusia. Twining, they stretch up toward the brilliant sun--maybe beyond, to the divine. Yet even as they transport you on their various journeys they remain rooted in a family garden in Granada--a beautiful garden that, thanks to the author, you will know and love as he does." --Thomas Christensen, author of 1616: The World in Motion "This is a highly sensitively written book written by a very fortunate American author who records his visit to Andalusia (Spain) with his family to discover the immense gift to civilization the earlier Spanish community has been. I can certainly recommend this book to all who have yet to learn how vibrant and productive the integration of Judaism, Christianity and Islam can be." --Keith Critchlow, author of Islamic Patterns and The Hidden Geometry of Flowers "This beautiful book is a love story: that of, first, a young family falling hopelessly in love with an old house in the medieval quarter of Granada, and their painstaking restoration of the house and its gardens....But this is also a story of what love can do when various peoples put aside differences and work together: for nearly eight centuries, from 711 to 1492, Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in productive, collaborative harmony, translating one another's holy texts and sharing collective wisdoms, from literature to algorithmic logic to color theory. Thanks to Steven Nightingale's glorious and inspiring book we can glimpse what life might become were we not plagued, as we are in these modern times, by religious fundamentalism and hyper mechanized tools of war." --Jane Vandenburgh, author of The Wrong Dog Dream "Each page of this deeply personal book is a revelation, and a confirmation that darkness is never permanent. Darkness begets beauty. Nightingale writes that conviction into every sentence." --Robert Leonard Reid, author of Arctic Circle and Mountains of the Great Blue Dream "Granada... is a primordial history of Andalusia, the rose and the magdalena, the throne and the cross--but more than these, it is a sinuous and searching biography of the heart of southern Spain. Nightingale has woven us in its antiquarian spell...like Garcia Lorca, Nightingale summons the duende, the creative force that emanates from this sorrow, so that in the end, this book is really a testament to what can be possible with the spiritual attainment of peace. I cannot remember the last time I have read a story that is literally blood and truth born across two millennia of human understanding. Like a wind from the Sufi masters, it will shake the most austere and humane alike." --Shaun T. Griffin, author of This is What the Desert Surrenders

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