The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn
A Novel

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Charyn shines when verbalizing Emily’s talent. She is a “kicking kangaroo” as the words come tumbling out...Overall, Emily’s “secret life” exists in the creative realm of Charyn’s imagination.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

"In this brilliant and hilarious jailbreak of a novel, Charyn channels the genius poet and her great leaps of the imagination."—Donna Seaman, Booklist, starred review


Jerome Charyn, "one of the most important writers in American literature" (Michael Chabon), continues his exploration of American history through fiction with The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, hailed by prize-winning literary historian Brenda Wineapple as a "breathtaking high-wire act of ventriloquism." Channeling the devilish rhythms and ghosts of a seemingly buried literary past, Charyn removes the mysterious veils that have long enshrouded Dickinson, revealing her passions, inner turmoil, and powerful sexuality. The novel, daringly written in first person, begins in the snow. It's 1848, and Emily is a student at Mount Holyoke, with its mournful headmistress and strict, strict rules. Inspired by her letters and poetry, Charyn goes on to capture the occasionally comic, always fevered, ultimately tragic story of her life-from defiant Holyoke seminarian to dying recluse.
 

About Jerome Charyn

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Jerome Charyn , a master of lyrical farce and literary ventriloquism, published his first novel in 1964. The author of Johnny One-Eye and dozens of other acclaimed novels and nonfiction works, he lives in New York and Paris.
 
Published February 14, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 348 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Nicole Langan Nicole Langan on Dec 21 2016

Charyn shines when verbalizing Emily’s talent. She is a “kicking kangaroo” as the words come tumbling out...Overall, Emily’s “secret life” exists in the creative realm of Charyn’s imagination.

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