Monday, February 15, 2010

In My Mailbox (Feb 15, 2010)

For review: The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn

About the book (from GoodReads):

An astonishing novel that removes Emily Dickinson’s own mysterious mask and reveals the passions and heartbreak of America’s greatest poet.

What if the old maid of Amherst wasn’t an old maid at all? Her older brother, Austin, spoke of Emily as his “wild sister.” Jerome Charyn, continuing his exploration of American history through fiction, has written a startling novel about Emily Dickinson in her own voice, with all its characteristic modulations that he learned from her letters and poems.

The poet dons a hundred veils, alternately playing wounded lover, penitent, and female devil. We meet the significant characters of her life, including her tempestuous sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert; her brooding father, Edward; and the Reverend Charles Wadsworth, who may have inspired some of her greatest letters and poems.

Charyn has also invented characters, including an impoverished fellow student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, who will betray her; and a handyman named Tom, who will obsess Emily throughout her life. Charyn has written an extraordinary adventure that will disturb and delight.

About the author:

The author of 38 other books, Jerome Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and has received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Charyn was born in the Bronx in 1937 and lives in New York and Paris. Entertainment Weekly wrote that his previous novel, Johnny One-Eye: A Tale of the American Revolution, now available in trade paperback, belongs in the “great British tradition of picaresque novels,” and according to a starred review in Publishers Weekly it “deserves to be spoken about in the same breath as E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime.”


  1. Sounds like a good book! I haven't actually read anything about or from Emily Dickinson (but have heard of her) so this would be an interesting book for me.

  2. oooh interseting. this looks like a good one.

    Want to enter my Book Lover's Basket Giveaway??

  3. Morgan: Emily Dickinson led an unusual life, so I see her as one very intriguing individual! Hope I enjoy the book!

    brizmus: Yeah it does!

    Lori: Thanks!

    Shooting stars mag: Thanks for the link to your giveaway. Will check it out!


Your comments are appreciated. Let me know you stopped by! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...