Correspondences: A Poem and Portraits

Correspondences: A Poem and Portraits

by Anne Michaels, Bernice Eisenstein
     
 

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A rare and beautifully produced "accordion" book by renowned novelist and poet Anne Michaels and acclaimed artist and writer Bernice Eisenstein that will cause a stir for both its form and its content.

Anne Michaels's resonant book-length poem--which unfolds on one side of the pages of this accordion book--ranges from the universal to the intimate, as

Overview

A rare and beautifully produced "accordion" book by renowned novelist and poet Anne Michaels and acclaimed artist and writer Bernice Eisenstein that will cause a stir for both its form and its content.

Anne Michaels's resonant book-length poem--which unfolds on one side of the pages of this accordion book--ranges from the universal to the intimate, as she writes of historical figures for whom language was the closest thing to salvation; on the other side, we have Bernice Eisenstein's luminous portraits of and quotes from such twentieth-century writers and thinkers as Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs, W. G. Sebald, Anna Akhmatova, Primo Levi, and Albert Einstein. The poetry and portraits join together in a dialogue that can be read in any direction and any order, in a format that perfectly reflects the thematic interconnectedness of this collaboration: "an alphabet of spirits and spirit; an elegy of remembrance" (Eisenstein); "just as a conversation becomes the third side of the page . . . the moment one life becomes another" (Michaels). 

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
01/01/2014
"In the beginning/ was a conversation," writes Canadian novelist and poet Michaels (Fugitive Pieces), joined by artist Eisenstein to create an accordion-style book of word and image. Like the instrument that creates music from wind passing through its folded and unfolded bellows, these poems join words in a connected breathing that becomes "a communication/ with ghosts." Michaels calls on 20th-century thinkers, artists, and writers, using the texts of Paul Celan, Anna Akhmatova, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, and Helen Keller to preface Eisenstein's portraits and connecting her words into one long poem that can be read in any direction. The reader feels "as if all you know and all you don't know/ have changed places." These elements communicate with one another, art in dialog with word, word in dialog with art, to create a "holy ink" in a profound collaboration among poet, portrait, and reader. The result is a poem in which "each word the reverse of a word/ as if to say/ the moment you stop believing in me/ I will disappear." VERDICT Highly recommended for all poetry collections.—Karla Huston, Appleton, WI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307962515
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/03/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
File size:
7 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Bernice Eisenstein is the author of the critically acclaimed graphic memoir I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors,  which was translated into ten languages, and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award. Eisenstein, whose artwork has appeared in exhibitions in Europe and the United States, lives in Toronto.

Anne Michaels is the author of the internationally best-selling novel Fugitive Pieces, winner of the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Guardian Fiction Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction, among many other honors. Fugitive Pieces was made into a major motion picture. Her second novel, The Winter Vault, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She is also the author of three highly acclaimed poetry collections. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages.

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