Emily Bernard writes she is "most interested in blackness at its borders, where it meets whiteness, in fear and hope, in anguish and love." She examines this intersection closely, with her own life as a case study, to see where the pieces fit together neatly, and where their edges
Gabel studied cello for years and her experience is evident as she spools out the plot, repeats motifs and varies the story's tempo and dynamics. Music dictates the structure of the book, too, which is arranged in four parts, like a concerto, with a short coda at the end.
Hampl has been writing at the intersection of memoir and essay for most of her life. Now, displaying a heightened partnership of experience and reflection, she revisits people and events with insight produced by leisure and the ostensibly wasted day.