Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford
The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Thirty years after the smashing success of Zelda, Nancy Milford returns with a stunning second act. Savage Beauty is the portrait of a passionate, fearless woman who obsessed American ever as she tormented herself.

If F. Scott Fitzgerald was the hero of the Jazz Age, Edna St. Vincent Millay, as flamboyant in her love affairs as she was in her art, was its heroine. The first woman ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, Millay was dazzling in the performance of herself. Her voice was likened to an instrument of seduction and her impact on crowds, and on men, was legendary. Yet beneath her studied act, all was not well. Milford calls her book "a family romance"--for the love between the three Millay sisters and their mother was so deep as to be dangerous. As a family, they were like real-life Little Women, with a touch of Mommie Dearest.

Nancy Milford was given exclusive access to Millay's papers, and what she found was an extraordinary treasure. Boxes and boxes of letter flew back and forth among the three sisters and their mother--and Millay kept the most intimate diary, one whose ruthless honesty brings to mind Sylvia Plath. Written with passion and flair, Savage Beauty is an iconic portrait of a woman's life.

About Nancy Milford

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Nancy Milford was born in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan. She published Zelda, her first book, in 1970. She holds both the M.A. and the Ph.D. from Columbia University where Zelda was her dissertation. It is now published in 11 languages. She has held a Guggenheim Fellowship in Biography, and has served on the boards of the Author's Guild, The Society of American Historians, Inc., and The Writers Room, of which she is a founder. She has also received visiting fellowships to Yale and Princeton Universities, been named a President's Fellow at Columbia University, and taught at Vassar, Bard, and Simon's Rock at Bard College.
Published November 27, 2001 by Random House. 576 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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(Milford does not neglect to give us a paragraph about Millay’s discovery of her clitoris and a passage about her pubic hair.) She became an extraordinarily popular poet, selling tens of thousands of copies of her collections, delivering readings in her rich, mellifluous, contralto voice to stand...

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Publishers Weekly

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Milford hit the New York Times bestseller list 30 years ago with her acclaimed biography of Zelda Fitzgerald;

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Monsters and Critics

Savage Beauty concludes at exactly the moment the 58-year-old meets her Maker, revealing that the doctor who pronounced Millay dead "found her at the foot of the stairway from which she had apparently fallen .

Feb 04 2008 | Read Full Review of Savage Beauty: The Life of Ed...

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