Randon Billings Noble, "Be with Me Always"
Randon Billings Noble, Be With Me Always
Friday, April 19, 7pm
“Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!” Thus does Heathcliff beg his dead Cathy in Wuthering Heights. He wants to be haunted—he insists on it. Randon Billings Noble does too. Instead of exorcising the ghosts of her past, she hopes for their cold hands to knock at the window and to linger. Be with Me Always is a collection of essays that explore hauntedness by considering how the ghosts of our pasts cling to us.
In a way, all good essays are about the things that haunt us until we have somehow embraced or understood them. Here, Noble considers the ways she has been haunted—by a near-death experience, the gaze of a nude model, thoughts of widowhood, Anne Boleyn’s violent death, a book she can’t stop reading, a past lover who shadows her thoughts—in essays both pleasant and bitter, traditional and lyrical, and persistently evocative and unforgettable.
Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her work has been published in the Modern Love column of the New York Times, the Georgia Review, Fourth Genre, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Her essay “The Heart as a Torn Muscle,” originally published in Brevity, was listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2016.