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Then Suddenly--

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Description

Finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s 1999 Poetry Book of the Year

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 sound 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 Gettsyburg 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 27, 1999 – A determined, smart-alecky poet eyes her reader constantly through this cranky, quirky third collection, sizing us up to the point of exhaustion: "I'm tired of the dark forest of this book/ and the little trail of bread crumbs I have/ to leave so readers.../ can...follow along." Emanuel often has the tone of a teacher who just knows the class won't get her point. She nevertheless varies her lines and her forms adroitly (if conventionally); piles on gorgeous images; 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 airborne cloud of selfhood giving a poetry reading/ in which, Reader, I have made our paths cross!" To say that such pronouncements sound stiff and a tad ridiculous at this late theoretical date is hardly necessary, especially when Emanuel fails to back them up with splinterings of the self-in-language that ring true. But fans of Deborah Garrison and other chroniclers of the collisons between the bourgeois writing life ("Outwardly, my life is one of irreproachable tedium") and desires for walks on the wild side will appreciate crackly poems like "Dressing the Parts": "So, here we are,/ I am a kind of diction// I can walk around in/ clothed in six-inch heels// of arrogation and scurrility./ And what are you// wearing? Is it those boxer/ things again? I hope it is// those boxer things/ and nothing else."
Then Suddenly--
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Poetry
  • Published: Sep 28, 1999
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Seller: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Print Length: 72 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 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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