The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge
A Novel

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Synopsis

In this mesmerizing debut novel, Michael Sledge creates an intimate portrait of the beloved poet Elizabeth Bishop — of her life in Brazil and her relationship with her lover, the dazzling, aristocratic Lota de Macedo Soares. Sledge artfully draws from Bishop’s lifelong correspondences and biography to imagine the poet’s intensely private world, revealing the literary genius who lived in conflict with herself both as a writer and as a woman.
A seemingly idyllic existence in Soares’s glass house in the jungle gives way to the truth of Bishop’s lifelong battle with alcoholism, as well as her eventual status as one of modernism’s most prominent writers. Though connected to many of the most famous cultural and political figures of the era, Soares too is haunted by her own demons. As their secrets unfold, the sensuous landscape of Rio de Janeiro, the rhythms of the samba and the bossa nova, and the political turmoil of 1950s Brazil envelop Bishop in a world she never expected to inhabit. The More I Owe You is a vivid portrait of two brilliant women whose love for one another pushes them to accomplish enduring works of art.
 

About Michael Sledge

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Michael Sledge is a freelance journalist and writer who has extensively studied the sociology and psychology of the behavior of military personnel.
 
Published May 4, 2010 by Counterpoint. 337 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Elizabeth and Lota had briefly met each other at a social function in New York, so when in 1951, at the age of 40, Elizabeth goes to Rio to visit some friends, it’s both likely and logical that she would renew her acquaintance with Lota, an immensely wealthy aristocrat and political firebrand.

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The New York Times

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Enlarge This Image Those affairs — Bishop with Soares, Bishop with Brazil — are at the center of Michael Sledge’s first novel, “The More I Owe You.” Racked by too little writing, too much drinking and unhealthy doses of self-recrimination, Bishop needed a change of air.

Jul 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The More I Owe You: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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In his first novel, memoirist Sledge (Mother and Son ) imagines the life of poet Elizabeth Bishop and her lover, socialite and architect Lota de Macedo Soares, while they lived together in Brazil during the 1950s and '60s.

Apr 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The More I Owe You: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Sledge artfully draws from Bishop’s lifelong correspondences and biography to imagine the poet’s intensely private world, revealing the literary genius who lived in conflict with herself both as a writer and as a woman.
A seemingly idyllic existence in Soares’s glass house in the jungle gives ...

Jul 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The More I Owe You: A Novel

Shelf Awareness

"Harvard Book Store remains one of the great places for browsing, especially in its huge basement of used and discontinued books.

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Full Stop

The More I Owe You is Michael Sledge’s biography of the modernist poet Elizabeth Bishop – a biography told as fiction.

Jan 13 2011 | Read Full Review of The More I Owe You: A Novel

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