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The Undertaker's Daughter
     

The Undertaker's Daughter

5.0 1
by Toi Derricotte
 

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“Poems that stick with you like a song that won’t stop repeating itself in your brain, poems whose cadences burrow into your bloodstream, orchestrating your breathing long before their sense attaches its hooks to your heart.”
—Washington Post on Captivity

Overview

“Poems that stick with you like a song that won’t stop repeating itself in your brain, poems whose cadences burrow into your bloodstream, orchestrating your breathing long before their sense attaches its hooks to your heart.”
—Washington Post on Captivity

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Poems that stick with you like a song that won’t stop repeating itself in your brain, poems whose cadences burrow into your bloodstream, orchestrating your breathing long before their sense attaches its hooks to your heart.”
—Washington Post on Captivity

“Toi Derricotte’s poems show us our underlife, tender and dreadful. And they are vibrant poems, poems in the voice of the living creature, the one who escaped—and paused, and turned back, and saw, and cried out. This is one of the most beautiful and necessary voices in American poetry today.”
—Sharon Olds on Captivity

“Derricotte’s words touch the reader as life has touched her, soul and body. This is a strong, sensuous, original, courageous book.”
—Adrienne Rich on Captivity

“This is a personal, moving work about child abuse, racial ‘passing,’ and women making art, and will attract all readers interested in these topics.”
—LIbrary Journal

“This is a personal, moving work about child abuse, racial ‘passing,’ and women making art, and will attract all readers interested in these topics.”

—Library Journal

Library Journal
Paterson Poetry Prize winner Derricotte (Tender) offers a painful memoir of child abuse balanced by poems that attempt to unbury and heal the self. The narrator's father, who studied embalming in order to apprentice with her grandfather, never practiced that trade. But he used his anatomical knowledge to beat her so that the bruises wouldn't show. When she fails to clean her dinner plate, she has given him the excuse he needs: "'Your story is so touching till it sounds like a lie.' I swallowed it down; I wiped that look off my face." Derricotte recalls how her bed had to be folded up each night to make room for the dinner table; other versions of the story occur within similarly claustrophobic places, followed by poems about family, love, art, and a pet betta (fighting fish) named Telly, which she loves and nurses into death. This childlike attempt to reverse her life's karma by caring for a fish whose natural habitat is a puddle in Asia shows us that "it's either a very small or a very large place we live in—our cosmos, our kitchen." VERDICT This is a personal, moving work about child abuse, racial "passing," and women making art, and will attract all readers interested in these topics.—Ellen Kaufman, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822962007
Publisher:
University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date:
10/28/2011
Series:
Pitt Poetry Series Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
104
Sales rank:
892,537
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Toi Derricotte is the author of four previous poetry collections: The Empress of the Death House; Natural Birth; Captivity; and Tender, winner of the Patterson Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors. Derricotte is cofounder of Cave Canem and professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Undertaker's Daughter 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago