Titles 1998-2018

Possibility: Essays Against Despair, Patricia Vigderman


The essays in Possibility include encounters with manatees, children, and snakes; with Henry Adams, Marcel Proust, and W.G. Sebald; with Texas landscape, Vertigo, and Vermeer. Vigderman has a stylist's passion for revelatory detail. Smart, generous, and probing, her discoveries play with direct experience, exploring the interaction of life and art as "magic you can walk in and out of."

For a classroom-ready reader's guide written by the author herself, follow this link, and explore more titles with reader's guides in Sarabande in Education

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Patricia Vigderman is the author of The Memory Palace of Isabella Stewart Gardner (Sarabande Books, 2007), bringing the world of a century-old Boston museum and its eccentric founder into harmony with present reality. Other efforts to reconcile life’s discordant notes have led her to the ruined monuments of antiquity and its beautiful salvaged remnants, to an unexpected love affair with film, and into the endlessly unfolding mysteries of nature, language, art, and love. In 2010 she was a Literature Fellow at the Liguria Center for the Arts and Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Gambier, Ohio, where she teaches in the English department at Kenyon College.


“Reading Patricia Vigderman is like attending an ideal dinner party, where everyone has read your favorite books.  Her essays wind particular passages of Proust, or George Eliot, or W.G. Sebald around personal moments;  David Foster Wallace's story ‘The Depressed Person’ is threaded throughout an essay about her own relationship with a loved one's serious depression.  Vigderman's responses are fresh and original and her sounding of our collective literary treasures are likely to send you back to read them again, now overlaid with her embroidery.”

— Mona Simpson