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I Await the Devil's Coming (Neversink) Paperback – March 19, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“MacLane deserves canonization alongside Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson and Gertrude Stein.” —Emily Gould, author of And The Heart Says Whatever and Friendship

"One of the most fascinatingly self-involved personalities of the 20th century."  The Age (2011)

"Mary MacLane comes off the page quivering with life. Moving."  The London Times

"The first of the self-expressionists, and also the first of the Flappers."  The Chicagoan

"Her first book was the first of the confessional diaries ever written in this country, and it was a sensation."  The New York Times

“I know of no other writer who can play upon words so magically. Mary MacLane is one of the few who actually knows how to write English. She senses the infinite resilience, the drunken exuber- ance, the magnificent power & delicacy of the language.” —H.L. Mencken 

“A girl wonder.” —Harper’s Magazine 

“A pioneering newswoman and later a silent-screen star, consid- ered the veritable spirit of the iconoclastic Twenties.” —Boston Globe

“A milestone… Heartwarming, sensual and candid, I Await the Devil's Coming offers reflections that likely were quite scandalous in their time and remain evocative and powerful today." —California Bookwatch

“She was an extraordinarily gifted girl. . . She had a natural gift for crisp and concise expression, a keen, undisciplined intelligence and the emotional sensibility of a true artist.” New York Tribune 

“A pioneering feminist. . . A sensation.” —Feminist Bookstore News

About the Author

MARY MACLANE was born on May 1st 1881 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her family moved to Minnesota while she was young, then again to Montana after the death of her father and remarriage of her mother. She began writing for her school paper in 1898 and published her first book, I Await the Devil's Coming, under the title The Story of Mary MacLane, in 1902 at the age of nineteen. She published two further books, including the memoir I, Mary MacLane in 1917; also in 1917 she wrote and starred in an autobiographical silent film, Men Who Have Made Love to Me. She died in mysterious circumstances in Chicago in 1929, at the age of 48, and her works fell almost immediately into obscurity.

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Product Details

  • Series: Neversink
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House; Reprint edition (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612191940
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612191942
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Monika on September 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
Wow. This book... I've been sitting on this review all week, trying to gather my thoughts and figure out where to begin.

Mary MacLane comes across as a wee bit narcissistic, even sociopathic at times. She goes on and on and on about what a genius she is. She's not lacking in self-confidence. She says her family means nothing to her (and makes you believe it). Even when she does a good deed, she admits she only does so because it makes her feel good; no other reason whatsoever. Stuck in a small mining town, wanting more for herself, MacLane feels completely misunderstood and out of place.

But this is a journal, after all. Many of her sentiments could be chalked up to teen melodrama. She is brutally honest about herself, spouting her innermost thoughts in an angry whirlwind of words.

I think the challenge in reading I Await the Devil's Coming (aside from MacLane's freaky infatuation with the devil) is trying to put aside my own contemporary perspective. When I consider the role of women around 1900, MacLane seems far less crazy and more just... horribly displaced in time. Women didn't yet have the right to vote. Considered obscene, birth control information and devices were illegal. Traditional gender roles were expected; for women, that meant a life of domesticity. Period. I thought back to Garnet facing similar feelings and struggles in Molly Beth Griffin's Silhouette of a Sparrow, which is set 24 years later, and I think, 24 years later!? Mary MacLane was so far ahead of her time; it's no wonder she often felt overwhelmed by these frustrations.

"What else is there for me, if not this book? And, oh, that some one may understand it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By WilliamHunter on August 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ignore the morons who say this is repetitive. You can just as easily say the same about "The Waste Land."

They are fools. Mary MacLane was a poetic genius. Her prose sings even while ranting and raving against the Cultural Wasteland that is Small Town Middle America.

All she wanted was to get laid and make art. What more could anyone want in this world?
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Richard Brown on March 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As a long-time researcher and publisher of MacLane's work, I welcome Melville House's publication of this 1902 classic: much-imitated in her time, and unsurpassed to this day in communicating the inner reality of a complex, surging, sui generis spirit.

As I remarked in a forthcoming MacLane anthology: [She] wrote at least five books: three published, two she is known to have destroyed. Her first - a journal of three months in utter obscurity in Butte - brought international fame. Written in a cool, precise, almost faultless style, The Story established her persona to the present day. Everything she wrote later, and almost all later interest in her, would be founded on this book.

Her prediction at age twenty-one that "fifty years after I am dead they will say, `Her first book was her masterpiece' " proved correct. It has been adapted for the stage, reprinted around the world, made the subject of academic study, and is quoted on and off the Internet.

More than a century before what Anna Saunders has called "Generation Exhibition," MacLane created a proto-blog and populated it with entries that sum to a portrait of a time, a place, and the talent they are seen through.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anita on January 8, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I respect the writer's experience in this world. The book had a negative, depressing sense about it. I just let it go.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Marders on July 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I stopped half way through this book. Its very well written and at first I was intrigued, but it just grinds on and on without going anywhere. Not for me.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Norman on January 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The most depressing book I have ever tried to read. I say tried because it just didn't make a lot of sense. Just couldn't read every word due to it being such a downer. Terrible to be so miserable.
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