The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome CharynAn astonishing novel that removes Emily Dickinson’s own mysterious mask and reveals the passions and heartbreak of America’s greatest poet.
What if the old maid of Amherst wasn’t an old maid at all? Her older brother, Austin, spoke of Emily as his “wild sister.” Jerome Charyn, continuing his exploration of American history through fiction, has written a startling novel about Emily Dickinson in her own voice, with all its characteristic modulations that he learned from her letters and poems. The poet dons a hundred veils, alternately playing wounded lover, penitent, and female devil. We meet the significant characters of her life, including her tempestuous sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert; her brooding father, Edward; and the Reverend Charles Wadsworth, who may have inspired some of her greatest letters and poems.
Charyn has also invented characters, including an impoverished fellow student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, who will betray her; and a handyman named Tom, who will obsess Emily throughout her life. Charyn has written an extraordinary adventure that will disturb and delight. 9 illustrations.
11 Poetic Facts about Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson lived nearly her entire life in Amherst, Massachusetts. She wrote hundreds of poems and letters exploring themes of death, faith, emotions, and truth. As she got older, she became reclusive and eccentric, and parts of her life are still mysteries. As her original manuscripts reveal, she interspersed her writing with many dashes of varying lengths and orientations horizontal and vertical. Early editors cleaned up her unconventional markings, publishing her poems without her original notations.
Emily Dickinson at Mount Holyoke, circa Photo: Wikimedia Commons. The pages of history — especially within the stodgy confines of the academic textbook — have often stripped away the "much ado" of the lives of prominent figures. And such is the case of the life of Emily Dickinson. Outside of her bold and haunting poetry, a skeletal look at Dickinson's life seems fairly unremarkable: Born in , the middle child of a respected puritanically rooted New England family, Dickinson was an educated woman of no outstanding beauty. After briefly attending Mount Holyoke Seminary, she returned to her family's home in Amherst, Massachusetts where she became an emotionally fragile spinster recluse, penning over strangely dash-ridden poems only a dozen were published while she was alive before dying from kidney disease at age But to go beyond the bare bones of Dickinson's biographical stats, you'd discover a non-conformist with a "Bomb" in her bosom.
All Rights Reserved. Toggle navigation Emily Dickinson. I'm Nobody! Who are you? Her father was a United States Senator. Emily Dickinson was born into a privileged life in Amherst, Massachusetts. Edward Dickinson was a well-regarded lawyer from the Whig party.
She didn't believe in God
Often ranked in the upper echelon of American poets, Emily Dickinson is also one of the more mysterious figures in American literature., This month marks a whopping years since American poet and letter writing extraordinaire Emily Dickinson was born.
She spent the last 15 years of her life locked up in her house. Historians do not know for sure the reason for her isolation. Only between seven and 10 of her poems were published while she was alive , and the majority were published anonymously and without her consent. After she died, it was her younger sister, Lavinia, who found all the notebooks with her poems in her room. She was not at all sociable. She never married, never had children, and did not even like to see her friends in person; rather, she preferred to communicate with them and with her family through letters despite the fact that her brother lived next door.
Toggle navigation. Emily Dickinson Facts Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American-born poet who is best known for being a recluse and for writing unique poetry. Emily's father Edward was a Yale graduate and politician. Emily was well educated, attending Amherst Academy for seven years to study Latin, classical literature, history, geology, and botany. She briefly attended Mary Lyon's Mount Holyoke Female Seminary but soon returned home and settled into a quiet home life, where she began to write. Many of Emily Dickinson's poems were written in the second floor bedroom at the homestead.