Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$19.98
Qty:1
  • List Price: $30.00
  • Save: $10.02 (33%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 15 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore Hardcover – October 22, 2013


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$19.98
$5.95 $4.49


Frequently Bought Together

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore + The Poems of Marianne Moore
Price for both: $37.02

Buy the selected items together
  • The Poems of Marianne Moore $17.04

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374107297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374107291
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An engaging blend of literary criticism and biography, this ambitious work by literature professor and Moore scholar Leavell (Marianne Moore and the Visual Arts: Prismatic Color) challenges the persistent image of the modernist poet as a repressed and withdrawn spinster. From Moore's birth in Missouri in 1887, the book follows her lively intellectual development and years of unpublished obscurity, up until 1915, when she began to find outlets for her work. Her dense, cryptic, and complicated poems attracted the attention of avant-garde writers like T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and H.D. Torn between her closeness to her mother (with whom she lived all her life) and her desire to achieve literary celebrity, Moore went on to work at The Dial in the late 1920s and became a fixture of literary society. She toiled away for years as a poet's poet with a scant popular readership, eventually rising to national prominence when her Collected Poems swept the literary prizes in 1952, establishing Moore as a doyenne of letters until her death 20 years later. Where Leavell's biography stakes its claim is in its unprecedented insight into Moore's family relationships, made possible through previously unavailable materials furnished by her estate. In this well-researched biography, Moore emerges as a poet of freedom with a passionate inner life. Agent: Susan Rabiner, Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. (Oct.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Marianne Moore (1887–1972) is a “poet of paradoxes,” Leavell asserts at the outset of this superb, recalibrating biography, the result of three decades of intense effort. Singular in her tricorne hat and black cape, Moore eventually became a “celebrity and public poet.” But before her red hair turned white, Moore was an enigma, “one of the most radical of the new poets,” living docilely, it seemed, with her mother. Leavell tells the entire intense story of the poet’s pre-Revolutionary War heritage; her institutionalized father, whom she never met; the intensely symbiotic relationships between Moore, her mother, Mary, and her brother, Warner; and Mary’s long-lasting love affair with another woman. Leavell’s cogent interpretations of Moore’s poetry and chronicling of how diligently she pursued startling artistic innovation under her mother’s watchful eye in Greenwich Village and Brooklyn while teaching, working in a library, and serving as editor for The Dial, are equally revelatory. Like a sculptor working in clay, Leavell steadily builds up contour and texture as she portrays Moore as a poet of “sly wit” and “undetected but stormy passion,” who jumped rope on the roof of her apartment building and assiduously perfected “unconventional meter, unsentimental subject matter,” and scientific precision in poems about exotic animals, “freedom in confinement,” and “a sense of human dignity and reverence for mystery.” --Donna Seaman

More About the Author

Linda Leavell has been studying Marianne Moore's life and work for nearly three decades. Among her publications is the award-winning critical study "Marianne Moore and the Visual Arts: Prismatic Color." Her biography of Moore, "Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore," won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award in biography and the Plutarch Award for the best biography of 2013. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. She was a professor of American literature for twenty-five years before moving with her husband to the Arkansas Ozarks. She volunteers as a teacher and museum guide while working on her next project, a group biography of the Stieglitz circle.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This would make a great movie. Here is the story of one of America's great poets of the 20th century, as told by a researcher granted extraordinary access to the papers of Miss Moore and others. Marianne never knew or learned much about her father. Instead, she lived frugally with her lesbian mother in a tiny apartment for much of her life. Her mother, Mary, called Marianne "he," and other terms the reader will discover. Her mother became both her greatest asset as well as her greatest critic and life detractor. It was only after Mary's death that Marianne came out of her shell to enjoy life more fully.

Only a few of Ms. Moore's poems are included in this definitive work, and even then only portions. Most of those written during the early part of her career are difficult to understand. The biographer skillfully explains what can be explained.

If you are into poetry, this is the book for you. If you are into unusual biographies, this is definately the book for you. Chances are you'll end up being grateful for the life you are now living.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. J. French on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Moore's unusual, personal life story is told against the background of her developing work. She had many interesting, literary friends and business associates, not to mention MOTHER and BROTHER. I kept expecting and looking forward to, more emphasis on the work, described as difficult to understand, and cerebral. Overall, the book was a great success, just not quite as complete as I would have liked, as Brett Miller's Elizabeth Bishop felt complete in meshing together her life and work.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
I generally love biography. However, this was one of the most boring -- if not the most boring -- biography I have ever encountered. It was indeed well research and full of the minutiae of Moore's everyday life. Nevertheless, there was rarely a hint into what made Moore a poet, much less how she rose to such stardom in the poetry world. I can think of no compelling reason to read this book. One would be better off trying to read and understand Moore's actual poems.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raymond McNabb on December 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This biography of American poet Marianne Moore is full of interesting accounts of her life and her friends. Very good photographs accompany the text.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?