Bellocq's Ophelia by Natasha Trethewey

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Selected as a "2003 Notable Book" by the American Library Association

In the early 1900s, E.J. Bellocq photographed prostitutes in the red-light district of New Orleans. His remarkable, candid photos inspired Natasha Trethewey to imagine the life of Ophelia, the subject of Bellocq's Ophelia, her stunning second collection of poems. With elegant precision, Ophelia tells of her life on display: her white father whose approval she earns by standing very still; the brothel Madame who tells her to act like a statue while the gentlemen callers choose; and finally the camera, which not only captures her body, but also offers a glimpse into her soul.

About Natasha Trethewey

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Mississippi native Natasha Trethewey is the recipient of the Grolier Poetry Prize and a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have been widely published, and one of them appeared in The Best American Poetry 2000. Her first book, Domestic Work, was the first winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, selected by Rita Dove and published by Graywolf in 2000. Trethewey teaches creative writing at Emory Writing.
Published April 1, 2002 by Graywolf Press. 64 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bellocq's Ophelia

Publishers Weekly

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National Poetry Month reviewers wanting to take stock of recent poetry by African-American women might place this book alongside Harryette Mullen's Sleeping with the Dictionary (Forecasts, Dec. 17, 2001) and Elizabeth Alexander's Antebellum Dream Book (published last year).

| Read Full Review of Bellocq's Ophelia: Poems

The Roanoke Times

Faced with no job opportunities (“No one needs a girl,” she hears repeatedly) and possible homelessness, she is taken in by Countess P (Lisa Gabourel), a kindly madam running an upscale brothel that features “black women in white skin.” Ophelia writes home, shares what stories she can about her ...

Feb 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Bellocq's Ophelia: Poems

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