Then, Suddenly by Lynn Emanuel
(Pitt Poetry Series)

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Synopsis

A reader and a writer don their respective roles and embark on the journey of a book. This is their story--ultimately a love story--darkly funny, mournful, testy. It is about a reader who at times presides over the page like a god, and at others follows the leash of the author's voice through the dark streets of the book like a dog, and it is about a writer of determined slipperiness. As we read, we think that each of us is The Reader, the one who knows the Real Story. But the more we think we understand, the more the story moves away from us-all is not what it seems.

This eagerly awaited third volume by the poet whose work The New York Times described as "at once charmed and frightening" is a book of high-spirited subversiveness, a work of argument, seduction, and a relentless devotion to language. Then, Suddenly-- bristles with the wound of the author's voice--insistent, vital, hilarious, and iconoclastic--tearing away at the confinement of the page and at the distance between the page and the reader. Emanuel's images are dazzling. She creates a performance that is fearsome and funny in its portrayal of the argument between the work of the text and the world of the body. The Gettsburg Review has called her a writer of "exquisite craftsmanship" who can "strike from language . . . images chiseled clean as bas-relief." Then, Suddenly-- is a book of spectacle and verve, part elegy, part vaudeville.

 

About Lynn Emanuel

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Emanuel is an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
 
Published October 7, 1999 by University of Pittsburgh Press. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Then, Suddenly

Publishers Weekly

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celebrates American masters (""Walt, I Salute You!"") and mentors--only to mockingly renounce narrative, content, emotion (especially emotion) in order to get at a constantly restated goal: ""Then, suddenly.../ I am gone, and all that's left is a voice.../ ...gobbling up the landscape,/ an airbor...

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

put one in the poem by the [train] station.” And in another poem he asks, “Who are you dating?” In a moving and original poem, “The Burial,” the dialogue ceases, except for a note the daughter writes and places into the dead father’s hand in the casket: in the cold, without a coat.

Dec 19 1999 | Read Full Review of Then, Suddenly (Pitt Poetry S...

Boston Review

The "vehicle" that conveys the spectacle becomes the subject of the poem, as does, by extension, the "vehicle" for the anecdote, the telling of the story in the poem itself: Or you could think of the black car as Lynn Emanuel, because, really, as an author, I have always wa...

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