The Folding Cliffs by W.S. Merwin
A Narrative

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From a major American poet--a thrilling story, in verse, of nineteenth-century Hawaii. The story of an attempt by the government to seize and constrain possible victims of leprosy and the determination of one small family not to be taken. A tale of the perils and glories of their flight into the wilds of the island of Kauai, pursued by a gunboat full of soldiers.
A brilliant capturing--inspired by the poet's respect for the people of these islands--of their life, their history, the gods and goddesses of their mythic past. A somber revelation of the wrecking of their culture through the exploitative incursions of Europeans and Americans. An epic narrative that enthralls with the grandeur of its language and of its vision.

About W.S. Merwin

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W. S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Portugal, and Majorca. He has since lived in many parts of the world, most recently on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. His many books of poems, prose, and translations are listed at the beginning of this volume. He has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets (of which he is now a Chancellor), the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, and the Bollingen Prize in Poetry; most recently he has received the Governor's Award for Literature of the state of Hawaii, the Tanning Prize for mastery in the art of poetry, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.
Published September 29, 1998 by Knopf. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Since distinguished poet and translator Merwin (The Lice; The Vixen) moved to Maui almost two decades ago, Hawaiian flora, fauna and history have pervaded his work. His sprawling new novel-in-verse (b

Aug 31 1998 | Read Full Review of The Folding Cliffs: A Narrative

Publishers Weekly

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The rapt attention typical of Merwin's short poems mixes comfortably here with the pathos and characterization of a contemporary realist novel: ""she stopped and looked back at the valley she had left/ it looked new and shining in an age that never changed/ and farther away than she had ever seen...

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