Dog Years by Mark Doty
A Memoir

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Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives? When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family. As Beau bounds back into life, the two dogs become Mark Doty's intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when all else fails.

Dog Years is a remarkable work: a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Mark Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love. A book unlike any other, Mark Doty's surprising meditation is radiantly unsentimental yet profoundly affecting. Beautifully written, Dog Years is a classic in the making.


About Mark Doty

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Mark Doty's books of poetry and nonfiction prose have been honored with numerous distinctions, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and, in the United Kingdom, the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2008, he won the National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. He is a professor at the University of Houston, and he lives in New York City.
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 228 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Self Help, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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But then both dogs fell ill, Arden with Lyme disease and youthful Beau with a neurological infection that eerily echoed Wally’s: difficulty walking, paralysis, followed by death.

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The New York Times

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In a memoir, the poet Mark Doty meditates on grief and the death of his dogs.

Jun 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Dog Years: A Memoir

The Guardian

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Dog Years by Mark Doty 216pp, Jonathan Cape, £11.99 Mark Doty was walking his arthritic dog through Manhattan when a passerby paused to pet the black retriever.

Mar 29 2008 | Read Full Review of Dog Years: A Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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Award-winning memoirist (Firebird ) and poet (School of the Arts ) Doty explores, with compassion and intelligence, the complicated, loving territory inhabited by devoted dogs and their loyal humans.

Mar 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Dog Years: A Memoir


However, the book is instead an examination of the human response to loss in all its many incarnations: loss of innocence, loss of family, loss of hope.

Oct 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Dog Years: A Memoir

USA Today

Doty applies the same lyrical and sensitive approach to his latest memoir, Dog Years, another meditation on death and loss.Devoted dog lovers will understand the sorrow Doty experiences as he walks us through the lives and final days of Beau and Arden, the dogs who rounded out Doty's and Roberts'...

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"To choose to live with a dog," Mark Doty writes, "is to agree to participate in a long process of interpretation."

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In one of the book's most touching sections, he catalogs Arden’s late-life pleasures, from “Beach” to “Watching.” There is a unique paradigm shift here that every dog owner of a certain type will recognize—Doty clearly rearranged his life around Beau and Arden, and not the other way around.

May 31 2007 | Read Full Review of Dog Years: A Memoir

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