Living, Loving, and Other Heresies

With a Foreword by David J. Rothman

First Runner-up, Writers Notes Award

Living, Loving, and Other Heresies is a unique achievement and perhaps the first book of its kind.

The author, a gifted writer, musician, dancer, and teacher, has been living with a progressive neuropathy since 1998. In 1999, unable to keep up with all of his correspondence, he began a group e-mail list to which he sent out regular essays about how the disease was affecting his life. As the illness progressed and he lost the ability to walk, to speak, and even to take care of himself, he nevertheless was able to continue writing by using a word-recognition keyboard program. As a result he has been able to chronicle and contemplate the disease’s effect from a realm which has mostly remained beyond words until the advent of contemporary communications technology.

At the same time, as its title suggests, Living, Loving, and Other Heresies goes far beyond coping with degenerative disease. Zsolt’s essays and poems range across a passionate and deeply examined life, in which even a debilitating illness has played but one part. Although over the last few years the disease has relentlessly forced him to withdraw from the world, in his writing Zsolt nevertheless continues to embrace that world in the exuberant tradition of Whitman. By turns tender and passionate, playful and indignant, humorous and committed, Zsolt affirms the beauty of life and transforming power of love while simultaneously confronting his own stark fate.
Praise for Living, Loving, and Other Heresies

"If this is heresy, we need more of it! A timeless book of compelling prose and poetry."x—Bill Moyers


"I took my copy home and began reading it, finding that I could only
read a few Zsoltgossips a day—partly because their beauty and
wisdom ripped my heart in two, and partly because I didn't want
them to end. Imagine, a man who could dance, command the ivories and write like a flash of lightning. I skipped ahead, as journalists are wont to do, and found that as Zsolt's condition worsened, he turned to poetry with equal aplomb." —Polly Summars, Albuquerque Journal

"...[T]his is not a book about death. It is, rather, an affirmation of life, a life joyously, hungrily, and rapturously lived. And Zsolt's are not the musings of a disembodied voice. It's impossible to distance oneself from this extraordinary person, impossible to say that his journey is not ours, too. Ultimately, Zsolt reminds us that everyone follows the same path. All he asks is that we embrace and help and love each other along the way. Because nothing in this life is more important."—Lynda LaRocca, Colorado Central Magazine

"Living, Loving, and Other Heresies lingers upon the absolute specter of mortality...both as the author confronts it and as the reader will one day experience it. A timeless expression of philosophy, moral dilemmas, and the pain of confronting the inevitable, written with great artistic and literary flare."xMidwest Book Review

"Zsolt’s collection of short essays is remarkable, not only for the physical effort required in their production, but also in their unflagging optimism and fearless acceptance of death...Zsolt’s writings provide us a template for a compassionate life and the courage to face our own transfiguring dance of death."x—Lance Waring, Telluride Watch

"For the people who will not meet Zsolt in person, this book will be a bridge to an aliveness that is poetic, a sense of humor that cancels despair and beauty that can be breathed in effortlessly. Renew your commitment to living, loving and heresies of every order by journeying with the companion you always hoped would meet you: with Zsolt and his irresistible gossips." x—Barbara Riley, Southwest BookViews

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