Title: The Secret Life Of Emily Dickinson
Author: Jerome Charyn
Hardcover: 348 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 22, 2010)
Source: Tribute Book for review
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The Secret Life Of Emily Dickinson gave us a portrait of what Dickinson life might be in her eyes. Though the book is fiction, it was amazingly written with a combination of facts and fictitious characters which makes the book great to read. I would be honest in saying that I may not really acquainted with Charyn's works or Dickinson poems which left me pondering if I need to brush up on those. I would definitely re-read this novel some other time.
And since I am not that familiar with Dickinson or Charyn, I would say that the book gave me a slow start. I lost the flow of the story and what was happening but I think that part was because of my lack in knowledge of Dickinson. :| opps. The book was captivating with lines that are witty. I do not love the book nor hate it, maybe the book doesn't suite me and other reviewer might give a different perspective for the novel. But what I can say is this - Charyn is a great story teller who provided me with a world that kept me reading. This is a great book to start if you are curious as to what Dickinson's life must be or a good portrayal of it. Would definitely re-read this book in the future so I can provide a decent review appropriate for the novel but for now this is how I felt reading the book.
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Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”
New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”
Since the 1964 release of Charyn’s first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.
Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009.
In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn’s book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, "The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong."
Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.