Delicacy and Strength of Lace: Letters Between Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright

Overview

The Delicacy and Strength of Lace

 

The timeless exchange of advice and friendship between two of our greatest literary talents

Dear Leslie: Of course I can’t know whether or not the world looks strange to God. But sometimes it looks strange to me.

Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright met only twice. First, briefly, in 1975, at a writers’ conference in Michigan. Their correspondence began three years ...

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Overview

The Delicacy and Strength of Lace

 

The timeless exchange of advice and friendship between two of our greatest literary talents

Dear Leslie: Of course I can’t know whether or not the world looks strange to God. But sometimes it looks strange to me.

Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright met only twice. First, briefly, in 1975, at a writers’ conference in Michigan. Their correspondence began three years later, after Wright wrote to Silko praising her book Ceremony. The letters began formally, and then each writer gradually opened to the other, sharing his or her life, work, and struggles. The second meeting between the two writers came in a hospital room, as Wright lay dying of cancer.

The New York Times wrote something of Wright that applies to both writers—of qualities that this exchange of letters makes evident: “Our age desperately needs his vision of brotherly love, his transcendent sense of nature, the clarity of his courageous voice.”

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Silko (Ceremony; Almanac of the Dead) and Wright's (Collected Poems; Pulitzer Prize, 1972) short collection of letters was written between 1978 and 1980 and first published in 1986. This edition has a new introduction by Wright and an afterword by Joy Harjo. Silko (b. 1948) is mainly in Tucson, AR, during this period, while Wright (1927–80) is traveling in Europe with his wife, Annie. They only met in person twice, once at a reading before the letters began and a last time at the hospital during Wright's final illness. The letters' physical descriptions are mainly of the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, the Southwest American desert, and Europe, especially Italy. The art of writing is, of course, a constant concern for both authors, and ideas about literature, philosophy, and photography are insightful and clearly defined. Silko's child custody case and Wright's thoughts on his first marriage and children are the main emotional anchors of the letters. VERDICT Stories about Silko's large extended family make for fascinating reading as she comes to grips with her heritage. Good for literature collections and anybody interested in American literature and cultural heritage.—Gene Show, Paramus P.L., NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555975432
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 10/27/2009
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,498,863
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Marmon Silko lives in Tucson, Arizona, and is the author of Ceremony. James Wright (1927–80) received the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his Collected Poems. Anne Wright is the widow of James Wright. She lives in New York.

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