HANKY OF PIPPIN'S DAUGHTER

HANKY OF PIPPIN'S DAUGHTER

by Rosmarie Waldrop
     
 

Fiction. Writing from America to her sister in Germany, the protagonist of this shattering first novel reconstructs the life of her parents—in the author's words, "just those 'ordinary people' who helped Hitler rise." Unflinching in her appraisal, she imagines how her father's latent anti-Semitism was triggered by his wife's affair with a Jew, who was later

Overview

Fiction. Writing from America to her sister in Germany, the protagonist of this shattering first novel reconstructs the life of her parents—in the author's words, "just those 'ordinary people' who helped Hitler rise." Unflinching in her appraisal, she imagines how her father's latent anti-Semitism was triggered by his wife's affair with a Jew, who was later sent to a concentration camp. The tone darkens as the narrator realizes that she and her sisters are living out variants of their mother's sexual model. "Wonderfully, relentlessly absorbing, HANKY's several overlapping tales leave one marvelling at the beauty, economy and humor with which Waldrop interweaves the complex tensions of Hitler's Germany in a family drama of repeated infidelity. Delightfully rich and bawdy and as strong-willed as its characters"—Lydia Davis.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
yrical first novel continues the experimentalism that has been Waldrop's trademark both as poet and as publisher of Burning Deck Press. Constituting a woman's letters to her sister, it narrates the attempt of both to come to terms with their marriages and affairs between marriages. The cliche ``like mother, like daughter'' applies here, as they justify their actions by exploring their mother's escapades in pre-war Germany. Both mother and correspondent-daughter are musicians, and music provides a poetic metaphor intelligently sustained throughout. The narrative is fragmented, which can make it difficult both to tell a complete story and to create characters with whom readers identify. Waldrop successfully avoids these pitfalls, producing a stunning work. Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780882680385
Publisher:
Barrytown/Station Hill Press, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2010
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Kitzingen am Main, Germany, on August 24, 1935. At the age of ten, she spent half a year acting with a traveling theater. She has studied at Wuerzburg, Freiburg, Aix-Marseille and Michigan Universities, earning her Ph.D. in 1966. She has lived in the United States since 1958. Waldrop began publishing her poetry in English in the late 1960s and since 1968 has been co-editor and publisher of Burning Deck Press with her husband, the poet and translator Keith Waldrop. The pair met in 1954 while he was stationed in Kitzingen after the Second World War. She is now the author of more than three dozen books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, most recently her trilogy Curves to the Apple: The Reproduction of Profiles, Lawn of Excluded Middle, Reluctant Gravities (New Directions, 2006), and a collection of essays, Dissonance (University of Alabama Press, 2005). Her other poetry titles include Splitting Image (2006), Blindsight (2004), Love, Like Pronouns (2003), Well Well Reality (1998, with Keith Waldrop), Reluctant Gravities (1999), Split Infinites (1998), Another Language: Selected Poems (1997), A Key Into the Language of America (1994), Lawn of the Excluded Middle (1993), Peculiar Motions (1990), Shorter American Memory (1988), The Reproduction of Profiles (1987), Streets Enough to Welcome Snow (1986), Differences for Four Hands (1984), Nothing Has Changed (1981), When They Have Senses (1980), The Road Is Everywhere or Stop This Body (1978), and The Aggressive Ways of the Casual Stranger (1972). In the early 1970s, she spent a year in Paris, where she met several leading avant garde French poets, including Claude Royet-Journoud, Anne-Marie Albiach, and Edmond Jabes. These writers not only influenced Waldrop's work greatly, but worked with her as she became one of the main translators of their work into English, with Burning Deck acting as a major vehicle in introducing their work to an English-language readership. She has since translated more than twenty books, including works by Paul Celan, Elke Erb, Joseph Guglielmi, Emmanuel Hocquard, Friederike Mayroecker, Jacques Roubaud, and Alain Veinstein. She received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for her 1993 rendering of The Book of Margins by Edmond Jabes. About her work, the poet Diane Wakoski has said, "Rosmarie Waldrop writes the poetry of everyday life and asks her reader to look beyond it, not by dazzling you with spectacular images or fancy metaphors but by simply quietly invoking you to look, listen, reflect." Waldrop's honors include the Rhode Island Governor's Arts Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Citation for Translation, a Translation Center Award, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in Poetry and Translation. She has taught at Wesleyan University and, as occasional visitor, at Tufts and Brown. She currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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