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.”