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Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast
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Published:
HMH Books 2017
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Description

"A shapely experiment, mixing memoir with biography . . . [Elizabeth Bishop] fuses sympathy with intelligence, sending us back to Bishop's marvelous poems." — Wall Street Journal

Since her death in 1979, Elizabeth Bishop, who published only one hundred poems in her lifetime, has become one of America's most revered poets. And yet she has never been fully understood as a woman and artist. Megan Marshall makes incisive and moving use of a newly discovered cache of Bishop's letters to reveal a much darker childhood than has been known, a secret affair, and the last chapter of her passionate romance with Brazilian modernist designer Lota de Macedo Soares.
By alternating the narrative line of biography with brief passages of memoir, Megan Marshall, who studied with Bishop in her storied 1970s poetry workshop at Harvard, offers the reader an original and compelling glimpse of the ways poetry and biography, subject and biographer, are entwined.

"Marshall is a skilled reader who points out the telling echoes between Bishop's published and private writing. Her account is enriched by a cache of revelatory, recently discovered documents . . . Marshall's narrative is smooth and brisk: an impressive feat." — New York Times Book Review

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/07/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780544618428
ASIN:
B01912P3CC
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Megan Marshall. (2017). Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Megan Marshall. 2017. Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Megan Marshall, Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast. HMH Books, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Megan Marshall. Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast. HMH Books, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:53:59
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:41:51
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        MEGAN MARSHALL is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Margaret Fuller and the author of The Peabody Sisters, which won the Francis Parkman Prize and the Mark Lynton History Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2006.

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"A shapely experiment, mixing memoir with biography . . . [Elizabeth Bishop] fuses sympathy with intelligence, sending us back to Bishop's marvelous poems." — Wall Street Journal

Since her death in 1979, Elizabeth Bishop, who published only one hundred poems in her lifetime, has become one of America's most revered poets. And yet she has never been fully understood as a woman and artist. Megan Marshall makes incisive and moving use of a newly discovered cache of Bishop's letters to reveal a much darker childhood than has been known, a secret affair, and the last chapter of her passionate romance with Brazilian modernist designer Lota de Macedo Soares.
By alternating the narrative line of biography with brief passages of memoir, Megan Marshall, who studied with Bishop in her storied 1970s poetry workshop at Harvard, offers the reader an original and compelling glimpse of the ways poetry and biography, subject and biographer, are...

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title
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fullDescription

"A shapely experiment, mixing memoir with biography . . . [Elizabeth Bishop] fuses sympathy with intelligence, sending us back to Bishop's marvelous poems." — Wall Street Journal

Since her death in 1979, Elizabeth Bishop, who published only one hundred poems in her lifetime, has become one of America's most revered poets. And yet she has never been fully understood as a woman and artist. Megan Marshall makes incisive and moving use of a newly discovered cache of Bishop's letters to reveal a much darker childhood than has been known, a secret affair, and the last chapter of her passionate romance with Brazilian modernist designer Lota de Macedo Soares.
By alternating the narrative line of biography with brief passages of memoir, Megan Marshall, who studied with Bishop in her storied 1970s poetry workshop at Harvard, offers the reader an original and compelling glimpse of the ways poetry and biography, subject and biographer, are entwined.

"Marshall is a skilled reader who points out the telling echoes between Bishop's published and private writing. Her account is enriched by a cache of revelatory, recently discovered documents . . . Marshall's narrative is smooth and brisk: an impressive feat." — New York Times Book Review

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 31, 2016
        Marshall, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in biography for Margaret Fuller, takes an excursion through the life of Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979), one of 20th-century America’s foremost poets. After surviving a troubled childhood with a sadistic uncle, a modest inheritance allowed Bishop to attend Vassar and afterward gave her the freedom to pursue poetry. Lovers led her from Paris to Key West to Petrópolis, Brazil. Bishop drank heavily and had to keep her lesbianism secret, but she also led a rich existence; she traveled the Amazon, swam naked in a lover’s pool in secluded Petrópolis, and all the while produced a small but incomparable body of art. Marshall, weaving her own encounters with Bishop in the 1970s into this biography, expertly shows this charmed and sometimes sad life in intelligent, clear, and beautiful prose. Marshall repeatedly asserts that Bishop was “shy” but never reconciles this descriptor with the woman she shows interviewing T.S. Eliot, editing the Vassar yearbook, and finding a fashionable literary clique. Likewise, how was this winsome woman “difficult,” as repeatedly claimed? But even if the poet herself remains elusive in this telling, this book is still a generous, enjoyable piece of work. Agent: Katinka Matson, Brockman Inc.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2016
        A new biography of one of the most celebrated American poets of the 20th century.Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) wasn't prolific--she published only 100 poems during her 40-year career--but she had a lasting impact on American letters. Pulitzer Prize winner Marshall (Writing, Literature, and Publishing/Emerson Coll.; Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, 2013, etc.) was one of the aspiring poets Bishop taught in her final "verse-writing" class at Harvard in 1977. The experience was so profound that, upon discovering a trove of letters after Bishop's "close friend" Alice Methfessel died in 2009, Marshall set about to write this biography. The result is a sharp portrait of the tragedies and other influences that shaped Bishop's life and career. Bishop was only eight months old when her father died. After her mother was hospitalized for mental illness, Bishop was shuttled between her maternal grandparents in Nova Scotia, a place she loved, and her paternal grandparents in Worcester, Massachusetts. After these early scenes, Marshall documents Bishop's maturation as a writer; her struggles with alcoholism; her 17 years living in Brazil with her partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares; her many affairs; and her relationships with such writers as Robert Lowell and Mary McCarthy. Best of all are Marshall's analyses of Bishop's poems, including "Song for the Rainy Season," "In the Waiting Room," and the book's subtitle. The interludes in which Marshall tells her own stories may be a distraction to some readers, but the chapters on Bishop are written with often chilling exactness, as when Marshall describes the uncle who drew young Elizabeth's bath and gave her "an unusually thorough washing" or the polio-stricken admirer who killed himself after Bishop rejected him. His suicide note read, "Elizabeth. Go to hell." Bishop shared with Marianne Moore a "near obsession with accuracy of detail and precision of language." This fine biography demonstrates the magnitude of Bishop's achievements without ignoring her flaws.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 15, 2016
        Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Marshall, who studied with iconic American poet Elizabeth Bishop, offers a sharpened portrait that draws on newly discovered letters to reveal a secret lover, a darker childhood than previously acknowledged, and more details about Bishop's passion for Brazilian designer Lota de Macedo Soares. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
A Miracle for Breakfast
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80
publisher
HMH Books
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