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Savage Coast

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Description

"At first “Savage Coast” is a train-of-fools comedy; later, it’s a cross-cultural love story Hemingway would have envied for its suddenness." —New York Times Book Review

"Rejected by her publisher in 1937, poet Rukeyser’s newly discovered autobiographical novel is both an absorbing read and an important contribution to 20th-century history.... Ironically, the factors that led to the novel’s rejection—Rukeyser’s avant-garde impressionistic prose style, alternating with realistic scenes of brutal death and a few descriptions of sexual congress—are what make the book appealing today."—Publisher's Weekly

As a young reporter in 1936, Muriel Rukeyser traveled to Barcelona to witness the first days of the Spanish Civil War. She turned this experience into an autobiographical novel so forward thinking for its time that it was never published. Recently discovered in her archive, this lyrical work charts her political and sexual awakening as she witnesses the popular front resistance to the fascist coup and falls in love with a German political exile who joins the first international brigade.

Rukeyser's narrative is a modernist investigation into the psychology of violence, activism, and desire; a documentary text detailing the start of the war; and a testimony to those who fought and died for freedom and justice during the first major battle against European fascism.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 01, 2013 – Rejected by her publisher in 1937, poet Rukeyser s newly discovered autobiographical novel is both an absorbing read and an important contribution to 20th-century history. Rukeyser had already won the coveted Yale Younger Poets award when she traveled to Spain in 1936 as a journalist, to cover the ill-fated People s Olympiad, a protest against the Olympics in Nazi-era Berlin. Her firsthand observations of the cataclysmic start of Spain s Civil War, as seen through the eyes of her protagonist, a journalist named Helen, reflect the chaos, privation, and horror of the conflict s early days with authentic detail. Helen is on a train that is forced to stop at the small Spanish town of Moncada, where soldiers come aboard. She becomes acquainted with most of the other passengers, a polyglot group of differing political sympathies. Her aroused political consciousness is augmented by a brief love affair with an antifascist German athlete, and they have a few days together once the group arrives in Barcelona. Throughout the narrative Helen reflects Rukeyser s attempts to surmount her own emotional crises, articulating her need for a life of political action and expression. Ironically, the factors that led to the novel s rejection Rukeyser s avant-garde impressionistic prose style, alternating with realistic scenes of brutal death and a few descriptions of sexual congress are what make the book appealing today. While initially suspenseful, some longueurs intrude when Rukeyser attempts to cover nearly every hour of Helen s five-day ordeal. Since the novel was left unfinished, albeit with Rukeyser s notes regarding the chapters she intended to expand and edit, readers are not likely to cavil over its shortcomings, applauding instead her documentation of a crucial moment in history.
Savage Coast
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  • $16.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: May 17, 2013
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY
  • Seller: Perseus Books, LLC
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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