"Baffled by my obsession with writing about objects both in poetry and fiction, I discovered The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects by Peter Schwenger. Why, I’ve wondered, are objects so tantalizing, collectable, and mysterious, and why do such objects define and unnerve me. This book analyzes poetry, fiction, paintings; it begins with Emily Dickinson; it addresses the way that one’s inability to possess an object gives rise to melancholy. The book has introduced me to a stronger sense of how things invested with memories stand for all that is lost, a stronger sense of my inevitable return to this subject."
—Martha Ronk, author of Glass Grapes and Other Stories (BOA Editions, 2008)