Reading and Discussion: Marion Winik’s Above Us Only Sky

Thu Mar 24, 2005

Women & Their Work welcomed Marion Winik back to Austin where she read from her new work, “Above Us Only Sky?” at the gallery located at 1710 Lavaca.

“Above Us Only Sky” is a memoir set in Austin during the author’s early twenties. The story unfolds in a period beginning with the shooting of John Lennon in December, 1980 and ending with the Memorial Day flood in 1981. Set against the background of the Reagan presidency, the joys of communal living, the prophecies of the I Ching, and the Austin performance scene of the period, it tells the story of a love triangle that ended in tragedy, and a friendship that survived nonetheless. Many familiar, long-lost Austin landmarks – from Spellman’s to Dan Del Santo – play a role. “Above Us Only Sky” is a passionate act of memory of which one reader has said, “I feel I have read one of those truly rare pieces that says something enormous in such a clean, unenormous way, like the work of the early Joan Didion.”

“Above Us Only Sky” is also the title piece of a collection of Winik’s essays printed from Seal Press in October, 2005. This reading was the first public unveiling of the essay; which was still a work in progress. The author welcomed comments and questions after her performance. The reading lasted more than an hour and included an intermission.

Winik is a longtime contributor to “All Things Considered”. She is the author of four books and numerous articles, including “Rules for the Unruly” and  “The Lunch-Box Chronicles”.