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We ask of art not that we understand it,
but that it understand us.
— Infinite Gradation

In her first volume of non-fiction, Anne Michaels reflects on the ethical, emotional and philosophical implications of language and the creative act.

She considers the lives of certain artists and writers – Paul Celan, Jack Chambers, Eva Hesse, Etty Hillesum, Nelly Sachs and Claire Wilks – who have made work at the very limits of experience, in remarkably different situations and with radically variant materials. Asking those urgent questions, Michaels explores how the artistic expression of being might serve as a witness in extremis; and she examines the nature of responsibility, and the form it takes in poetry, fiction and image-making, especially in the face of atrocity, when everything is at stake.

Infinite Gradation is an astonishing meditation on what art makes of death. In lines as precise and profound as any Michaels has written, it is also a lyrically compelling praise song to love and the enduring mysteries at the core of existence.

Canadian Release: March 1, 2018 / Available now in the UK from House Sparrow Press