Summer Solstice:

An Essay

“This is a book meant for lingering, like summer itself, unhurried, with time to spare.”—Maine Sunday Telegram

Summer is fireflies and sparklers. Fat red tomatoes sliced thin and salted. Lemonade and long dreamy days. The treasures of the season are gone much too soon — but they’re captured here, in loving sensuous prose that’s both personal and universal, for you to find any time of year.

Experience the most evocative tribute to the meaning of the season, a season whose magical feeling stays with us even in winter. Where does that feeling come from? What is summer made of? The smell of cut grass behind the gasoline of a lawnmower. A crown you’ve made of flowers. Blackberry bush prickers. First hot dog off the grill. Stargazing and sleeping with the windows open. This essay brims with a searching honesty and insight about what this season has meant in our pasts and what it might mean in our lives ahead.

Release yourself into the sky and feel, Nina MacLaughlin writes, for a moment: there’s time.

If summer is the season of your life, if thoughts of that magical time between Memorial Day and Labor Day are among the best memories you hold, you’ll love Summer Solstice.

Limited Edition

A special limited edition of 92 copies—one for each day of the meteorological summer of 2020—has been numbered and signed by the author. These copies are available exclusively from the publisher. For more info, email order@godine.com

Critical Praise

“For those who cannot safely venture from their homes this season, MacLaughlin’s book can be that breath of fresh air, the nostalgic call back to better days, and the hope for a future when we can safely gather again under open sky… [Summer Solstice is] a brief reverie, short and sweet like the fleeting days it describes.” Green Mountain Review (Full Review)

“MacLaughlin’s four-part lyric essay…ultimately renders the season a kind of wildly faceted mirror for both life and death, procreation and decay. And yet the fun stuff, MacLaughlin reminds us on every page, lies between such extremes.”
The Rumpus (“What to Read When You Want a Good Short Book“)

“One can easily read this sensuous little book in an evening, or dawdle, as I’ve done… Why not stretch the pleasure as MacLaughlin writes of grill smoke and blackberries, of grass wet with morning dew?”
—Joan Silverman, Maine Sunday Telegram (Full Review)

“Nina MacLaughlin’s keepsake of summer illuminates the ephemeral moments and eternal moods of the season that’s always gone too soon, even as it lingers in memory—just like her lovely prose. ”
—James Mustich, 1,000 Books To Read Before You Die

more on Summer Solstice

Praise for MacLaughlin’s Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

“Nina MacLaughlin has done something audacious. She has invited the female characters in Ovid—daughter, mother, sister, wife, widow, queen, nymph, maenad, monster, even the blind seer Tiresias—to sing through her. Wake, Siren is a stunning and sustained performance, in language bold and lyrical, direct yet sensual, and loaded with natural beauty.”
Mary Norris, Greek to Me

“Vital, vivid, and angry.”
Kirkus, Starred Review

Praise for MacLaughlin’s Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

“MacLaughlin…is a master writer, with the rare combination of acute observation and astute word choice that characterizes writers like Annie Dillard or Joan Didion.”
The Boston Globe

Godine, Publisher | Black Sparrow Press is distributed to the trade by Two Rivers Distribution, an Ingram brand. For more info, click here.

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.