Greed

( 1 )

Overview

Greed for money, power, sex, and love is the theme of this volume of dramatic monologues by the poet the New York Times Book Review has called "one of the most singular voices of her generation."
Beginning with "Riot Act," a monologue about the Los Angeles uprising in April 1992, Ai explored racial and sexual politics through the voices of diverse characters.

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Overview

Greed for money, power, sex, and love is the theme of this volume of dramatic monologues by the poet the New York Times Book Review has called "one of the most singular voices of her generation."
Beginning with "Riot Act," a monologue about the Los Angeles uprising in April 1992, Ai explored racial and sexual politics through the voices of diverse characters.

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Editorial Reviews

Margaret Atwood
“Ai is a strong, powerful poet who writes about real things. These are daring, disturbing, ambitious poems that go for the heart of America.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her fifth book, Ai ( Fate ) imagines and experiences contemporary degrees of American violence: who commits it, who endures it, and who does not. Her poems are narrated by a fairly raunchy cast of public and private people that includes an anonymous looter, Marion Barry, J. Edgar Hoover, a battered wife who finally shoots her husband, and an ice cream man, once molested by his parents, who himself molests children on the job. The violence is physical, sexual, moral; flamboyant or withheld; crafty, or senseless. And the poetry serves to bear witness, not indulge in excess--it is notable, partly, for an austerity. As in her earlier work, the poet's directness of address is an impressively leveling power, laying open complex situations with an odd, unapologetic, sometimes devastating candor: ``I shot him, I say, he beat me,'' reports the abused wife of her husband in ``Finished.'' But there is no redressing an injustice, and nobody can be righteous. The wife concludes, ``I do not tell them how the emancipation from pain / leaves nothing in its place.'' Ai looks for wrongs, and doesn't right them. That isn't easy, and it seems truthful. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393312010
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 98
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Ai (1947-2010) is the author of eight books of poetry, including the National Book Award–winning Vice. In 2009 she was named a United States Artist Ford Fellow. She was a professor at Oklahoma State University.

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Table of Contents

Riot Act, April 29, 1992 11
Self Defense 13
Endangered Species 16
Hoover, Edgar J. 18
Hoover Trismegistus 23
Jack Ruby on Ice 27
Oswald Incognito & Astral Travels 33
Party Line 38
Miracle in Manila 43
Knockout 47
Finished 50
Respect, 1967 53
Family Portrait, 1960 55
Life Story 57
The Ice Cream Man 65
Archangel 67
Lust, Love, and Loss 69
Reconciliation 77
Penis Envy 89
Greed 92
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 1999

    Ai is not afraid of the truth.

    Ai's book 'Greed' is one of her best volumes of poetry, full of uncensored views of life in today's society. Her use of language, creation of sincere speakers, and chilling imagery cut to the heart of the matter. This should be required reading.

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