This mature, exquisite collection of personal essays by Hilary Masters offers a rare pleasure. Here are meditations and reflections distilled in fine prose from a long and varied life--musings that, in the distinguished tradition of essays carried on since the days of Montaigne, articulate the piquant insights of the writer's experience. In this collection, one of the most illustrious contemporary essayists transfigures incidents and observations into something far more--a finely crafted window into the workings of experience and memory. Masters makes readers privy to a youthful love affair; an adolescent's discovery in Defoe's Robinson Crusoe of the key to an immigrant grandfather's plight; and the significance of growing trees, making gravy, and playing cards. He draws intimate portraits of such characters as his famous father, Edgar Lee Masters; his literary friends Wright Morris and William Humphrey; and the strangers who both complicated and enriched his life. In glimpses of moments from naive youth through heady young adulthood to aging maturity, these essays tell the story of a life deeply, broadly, and thoroughly lived.