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Asylum: A personal, historical, natural inquiry in 103 lyric sections

Asylum: A personal, historical, natural inquiry in 103 lyric sections

by Jill Bialosky

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Overview

This book-length sequence by the critically acclaimed poet is a seeker's story, revealing personal and historical traumas and how we search for understanding and meaning in their wake.

In Asylum, poet Jill Bialosky embarks on a Virgilian journey, building a narrative sequence from 103 elegant poems and prose sections that cohere in their intensity and their need to explore darkness and sustenance both. Taken together, these piercing pieces--about her nascent calling as a writer; her sister's suicide and its still unfolding aftermath; the horror unleashed by World War II; the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly; and the woods where she seeks asylum--form a moving story, powerfully braiding despair, survival, and hope. Bialosky considers the oppositions that govern us: our reason and unreason, our need to preserve and destruct. "What are words when they meet the action of what they attempt to modify?" she asks, exploring the possible salve of language in the face of pain and grief. What Asylum delivers is a form of hard-won grace and an awareness of the cost of extreme violence, inexplicable loss, and the miraculous cycles of life, in work that carries Bialosky's art to a new level of urgency and achievement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525657101
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/04/2020
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 144

About the Author

JILL BIALOSKY is the author of four acclaimed collections of poetry, most recently The Players; three critically acclaimed novels, most recently, The Prize; a New York Times best-selling memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life; and Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir. Her poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper's, O Magazine, The Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, and Paris Review, among others. She coedited, with Helen Schulman, the anthology Wanting a Child. She is an Executive Editor and Vice President at W. W. Norton & Company. Her work has been a finalist for the James Laughlin Prize, The Patterson Prize, and Books for a Better Life. In 2014, she was honored by the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished contribution to poetry. She lives in New York City.