“A lovely hybrid that blends [Bialosky’s] coming-of-age story with engaging literary analysis. … Adults and mature teens will find much to love in this book, which demonstrates how poems can become an integral part of life. It also suggests, on every page, the wisdom and deep compassion that make [Bialosky’s book] a tremendous asset both to readers and other writers.”
—The Washington Post
New York Times Bestseller
“Extraordinarily useful... a source of solace and understanding. [Bialosky’s] hand is always skillful, as attentive to the rhythms of storytelling as to conveying emotion.”
“Valiant and eloquent... Bialosky’s thoughtful book elucidates the complexity of suicide.”
—Washington Post Book World
Finalist in the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize.
“These poems show both a storyteller’s gift for implicit narrative and a sophisticate’s sense of other arts ... Bialosky’s book ends up undeniably personal, confirming her in her most serious of all her vocations: the setting down of a tumultuous inner life into clear, shared words.”
“[A] suspenseful tale of Eleanor's relationship with the magazine hack. Through him, Bialosky explores the idea that needy people are often the most powerful and destabilizing. We’re not sure why Eleanor wants to have an affair with him, but we believe she does — and with a kind of reckless illogic that would do Tolstoy proud.”
—New York Times Book Review
Finalist for the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets.
Jill Bialosky follows her acclaimed debut collection, The End of Desire, with this powerful sequence of poems that probes the subterranean depths of eros. Gerald Stern has called Bialosky “the poet of the secret garden, the place, at once, of grace and sadness,” and here she enters that garden again, blending the classical with the contemporary in bold considerations of desire, fertility, virginity, and childbirth.
Jill Bialosky's first collection of poems is an exceptional one—moving, very accomplished, marked by an unflinching realism and a sharply observant eye combined with great technical skill. Childhood and adolescence shattered by a father's death and the struggles of a mother to raise her daughters are among its concerns. The poems have a dignity and magic that are quite distinctive.