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The Art of the Wasted Day Audiobook, by Patricia Hampl Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Patricia Hampl Narrator: Patricia Hampl Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9780525529750
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A spirited inquiry into the lost value of leisure and daydream

The Art of the Wasted Day is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose a goal, even an art form. She begins with two celebrated eighteenth-century Irish ladies who ran off to live a life of "retirement" in rural Wales. Her search then leads to Moravia to consider the monk-geneticist, Gregor Mendel, and finally to Bordeaux for Michel Montaigne--the hero of this book--who retreated from court life to sit in his chateau tower and write about whatever passed through his mind, thus inventing the personal essay. 

Hampl's own life winds through these pilgrimages, from childhood days lazing under a neighbor's beechnut tree, to a fascination with monastic life, and then to love--and the loss of that love which forms this book's silver thread of inquiry. Finally, a remembered journey down the Mississippi near home in an old cabin cruiser with her husband turns out, after all her international quests, to be the great adventure of her life. 

The real job of being human, Hampl finds, is getting lost in thought, something only leisure can provide. The Art of the Wasted Day is a compelling celebration of the purpose and appeal of letting go.

Cover Illustration © 2018 Peter Sis Download and start listening now!

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About the Author

Patricia Hampl is the author of six prose works, including A Romantic Education and, most recently, The Florist’s Daughter. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New Yorker, the Paris Review, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Best American Essays. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacArthur Foundation, she lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.