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Subtitle: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses
Poser is unlike any other book about yoga you will read—because it is actually a book about life. Witty and heartfelt, sharp and irreverent, Poser is for anyone who has ever tried to stand on their head while keeping both feet on the ground.
Ten years ago, Claire Dederer put her back out while breastfeeding her baby daughter. Told to try yoga by everyone from the woman behind the counter at the co-op to the homeless guy on the corner, she signed up for her first class.
She fell madly in love.
Over the next decade, she would tackle triangle, wheel, and the dreaded crow, becoming fast friends with some poses and developing long-standing feuds with others.
At the same time, she found herself confronting the forces that shaped her generation. Daughters of women who ran away to find themselves and made a few messes along the way.
Dederer and her peers grew up determined to be good, good, good—even if this meant feeling hemmed in by the smugness of their organic-buying, attachment-parenting, anxiously conscientious little world.
Yoga seemed to fit right into this virtuous program, but to her surprise, Dederer found that the deeper she went into the poses, the more they tested her most basic ideas of what makes a good mother, daughter, friend, wife—and the more they made her want something a little less tidy, a little more improvisational.
Less goodness, more joy!
Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love: "Let me be honest about something: I love yoga, I live for yoga, and yoga has changed my life forever—but it is very difficult to find books about yoga that aren’t incredibly annoying. I’m sorry to say it, but yoga sometimes makes people talk like jerks. Thank goodness, then, for Claire Dederer, who has written the book we all need: the long-awaited funny, smart, clear-headed, thoughtful, truthful, and inspiring yoga memoir. To simplify my praise: I absolutely loved this book."
Publishers Weekly: "With lighthearted humor and a touch of irony...Dederer’s memoir, like a challenging yoga class, flows smoothly and shows by example that a full life is one that is constantly in motion."
Henry Alford, acclaimed author of How to Live: "This funny, spectacularly well-observed, and moving book does what even yoga can’t: it provides solace while making you laugh. I feel three inches taller."
Maria Semple, author of This One Is Mine and Producer of Arrested Development: "Claire Dederer is all these women: a daughter attempting to make sense of an irresistibly nutty divorce; a new mother trying to meet the ridiculously high standards of a peculiarly liberal breed of uber-moms; a wife struggling to salvage intimacy in a marriage slammed by exhaustion, mortgage payments and encroaching in-laws; and a lost soul who stumbles into a yoga studio and finds salvation.
"Above all, Dederer is a brilliant writer whose prose sparkles and cuts deep. Poser is a book you will want to immediately share with your friends. It’s hilarious, unflinching and bursting with love."
Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man: "As a yoga-culture skeptic, I began this book with a certain dread of encountering breathless, self-righteous platitudes about the spiritual healing powers of yoga, but I was immediately charmed and disarmed by Dederer’s fiercely intelligent, funny, unsentimental voice. This book contains real, hard-won insights; yoga became, for Dederer, a rebellion against goodness, not a path to it. This story of her revolt against perfectionism is a joy to behold and a true inspiration."
Booklist: "Dederer’s humor is tangy and precision-aimed; her targets are the sine qua non of memoirs: mothers and marriage...Dederer writes superbly and offers sharp insights into family dynamics as well as hatha yoga’s impact on American life, the focus of a growing number of groundbreaking books."
Kirkus Reviews: "Dederer contributes nuggets of yoga trivia paired with a droll, self-effacing delivery that’s both down-to-earth and pleasingly introspective. Delicious fun with a friendly nudge for readers on the fence about yoga."