Then, Suddenly - Pitt Poetry Series (Paperback)Lynn Emanuel (author)
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A reader and a writer don their respective roles and embark on the journey of a book. This is their story--ultimately a love story--darkly funny, mournful, testy. It is about a reader who at times presides over the page like a god, and at others follows the leash of the author's voice through the dark streets of the book like a dog, and it is about a writer of determined slipperiness. As we read, we think that each of us is The Reader, the one who knows the Real Story. But the more we think we understand, the more the story moves away from us--all is not what it seems.
This eagerly awaited third volume by the poet whose work The New York Times described as "at once charmed and frightening" is a book of high-spirited subversiveness, a work of argument, seduction, and a relentless devotion to language. Then, Suddenly-- bristles with the sound of the author's voice--insistent, vital, hilarious, and iconoclastic--tearing away at the confinement of the page and at the distance between the page and the reader. Emanuel's images are dazzling. She creates a performance that is fearsome and funny in its portrayal of the argument between the work of the text and the world of the body. The Gettsyburg Review has called her a writer of "exquisite craftsmanship" who can "strike from language . . . images chiseled clean as bas-relief." Then, Suddenly-- is a book of spectacle and verve, part elegy, part vaudeville.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Number of pages: 96
Weight: 127 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 7 mm
--Women's Review of Books
"The poems in Then, Suddenly-- require a reader's willingness to connect the dots of voice and story, and to watch oneself connect the dots, but Emanuel makes the willingness surprisingly easy to give. She may eschew feeling, but in this she is somewhat ingenuous, rewarding her reader's attentions throughout with vivid, indeed "moving" metaphors."
"Lynn Emanuel's poems have a rare power: they connect to the world through estrangement. Here is a restless, seeking intelligence, finding itself in beautiful language that makes the reader feel at home in sounds and cadences and figures, even while the homelessness of each of the poet's perceptions adds to the poem's force. This is a moving, challenging book."
"The trajectory of Lynn Emanuel's dazzling career has been in the direction of self-consciousness; Then, Suddenly-- questions even further the relationship between writer and reader: a tango, a coupling, a gamble in which the author seems to hold all the cards. But not so fast, say the dead, who confound and complicate her intent; Not so fast, says time. Or faster, haunting these sophisticated, deeply knowing poems into troubled life."
"There is some Eliot here, some Stein. Emanuel carries self-consciousness to the shrieking edge--and almost falls in. Well, she does fall in. She is a master of the negative, but she doesn't sigh in boredom; she yells in pain. Her vision is original; so is her language. A terrific book!"
"A determined, smart-alecky poet eyes her reader constantly through this cranky, quirky, third collection, sizing us up . . . she nevertheless varies her lines and her forms adroitly; piles on gorgeous images [and] celebrates masters and mentors."
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