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A Little White Shadow Paperback – May 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Wave Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933517034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933517032
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.2 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Alongside her justly known poems, Ruefle (Tristimania, 2003) also crafts what she calls "erasures," found texts from which she has crossed out almost all the words, leaving only a tiny poem's worth per page; the latter make up this book. In this pocket-sized reproduction of a whited-out 19th-century volume, Ruefle etches haiku-like minifables, sideways aphorisms, and hauntingly perplexing koans ("the dead/ borrow so little from/ the past/ as if they were alive") from what must have been an unusual text to begin with (Ruefle borrows the book's original title). As much a statement about the act of reading as the act of writing, this is a strange and lovely work by a singular poet. (May 1)
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About the Author

Mary Ruefle is the author of Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures, a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism (Wave Books, 2012), and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She has published ten other books of poetry, a book of prose (The Most of It, Wave Books, 2008), and a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed!, (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007); she is also an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries, and include the publication of A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont, and teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College.

More About the Author

Mary Ruefle is the author of Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013), Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures (Wave Books, 2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has published ten books of poetry, a book of prose (The Most of It, Wave Books, 2008), and a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed!, (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007); she is also an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries, and published in A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont, and teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's the sort of thing that makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that?"

But it's so much more than that, as well. Poet Mary Ruefle has created a miniature of mysterious beauty, simply by discovering, or unearthing, haiku-like poems embedded like gems in the text of an old book. Could anyone do this? Perhaps ... but it takes that poet's eye to select so precisely, to white out all but a few words, and transform what had been a fairly straightforward page of prose into these ghostly, dreamlike poems, at once delicate & piercing as a cold needle.

And it's a reminder that art, beauty, and mystery are to be found everywhere -- perhaps especially in the everyday, laid out before us, if we only take the time & effort to look. Highly recommended!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mary Ruefle, A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006)

I have no idea what possessed Mary Ruefle to take the text of an obscure nineteenth-century book (the author of which I've been trying to uncover ever since reading this, with no success) and turn it into poetry by whiting out most of it, but whatever it was, I like it.

I originally took it as one long piece, but others have suggested it's actually a collection, and it does make more sense that way. What Ruefle does here is to white out most of the words on the page, leaving just enough to give an intelligible image here, an interesting twist of action there. It's all quite exciting from a creative standpoint, as there are obviously any number of texts out there which can be used to the same ends, but Ruefle's eye for what to leave in makes for some extremely interesting reading, as well. I'm quite fond of this. ****
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ben Ani on November 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I see no mention of the great artist, Tom Phillips, whose great work, "A Humument", surely must have been an influence for Mary Ruefle's wonderful "A Little White Shadow".

For such a small volume, and even without Mr. Phillips imaginative artwork, this publication packs in a great amount of emotion and wonder. I hope to send copies to a few dear ones :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carrie McGath on August 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
This "erasure" is true beauty. Ruefle's unceasingly profound and genius spirit comes through in this tiny treasure. It is truly something to behold ... something to hold ...
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