Praise for Counting by Sevens
Counting by Sevens is about how we make sense of our wounds. Wallace takes us through the national injuries inflicted by injustice, through the damage done to us in relationships, and finally to the betrayal of our bodies in illness. She moves from national injury to the increasingly intimate, cellular level of our bodies, and in clear-eyed, unsentimental poetry, brings readers to their knees, showing that bearing witness to suffering is a form of healing.
Wallace's great feat in this book of poems of her illnesses—multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer—and national tragedies—school shootings, persistent racism, sexual abuse—is that she manages to leave readers with a sense of hope. She pulls this off by telling tales of life, especially the resilient girlhoods of the author, her mother, and daughters. Life is lived deliberately in an imperfect country, with other people, and against all odds.
E. Shaskan Bumas, author of the Grace Paley Award-winning The Price of Tea in China, University of Massachusetts Press, 1995.